Author(s): Carlson SE, Werkman SH, Rhodes PG, Tolley EA
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Abstract Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) is important for normal visual development. We hypothesized that preterm infants fed formulas with marine oil as a source of DHA would have better visual acuity than infants fed formulas without marine oil, as measured by the Teller Acuity Card procedure. Marine oil (P < 0.001) and age (P < 0.0001) influenced visual acuity, by repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) corrected for the effect of subject. Marine-oil-supplemented infants had better visual acuity than those fed standard formulas at 2 and 4 mo of age, by Fishers' least-squares difference (LSD). Acuity of both dietary groups improved through 6.5 mo of age, then plateaued. Through 4 mo of age, acuity was inversely related to oxygen supplementation (log10 h) and positively related to DHA status, by general-linear-models (GLM) analysis. After 4 mo of age, birth weight and gestational age were the only variables consistently related to visual acuity by GLM. We conclude that marine-oil-supplemented formula improved visual acuity of preterm infants through 4 mo of age by improving DHA status.
This article was published in Am J Clin Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Vascular Medicine & Surgery