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Nutritional Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids During the Perinatal Period

  • Ricardo Uauy-Dagach
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to: Ricardo Uauy-Dagach, MD, PhD, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Casilla 138-11 Santiago, Chile
    Affiliations
    From the Clinical Nutrition Unit, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

    Neonatology Unit Hospital Sotero del Rio, Santiago, Chile

    Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Dallas, Texas
    Search for articles by this author
  • Patricia Mena
    Affiliations
    Neonatology Unit Hospital Sotero del Rio, Santiago, Chile
    Search for articles by this author
      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.
      There is now clear evidence that dietary supplementation of ω-3 fatty acid is essential for normal eye and brain development. Corn oil-based diets induce ω-3 deficiency in preterm infants, affecting retinal responses to light, cortical visual evoked potentials, and behavioral measures of visual acuity. Preterm infants require doc- osahexanoic acid (DHA) because they are unable to form sufficient quantities from precursors provided by soy oil-based formula products. Human milk provides an ideal source of essential fatty acids for premature infants. There is increasing evidence that premature infant formulas containing vegetable oils should be supple-merited with long-chain EFAs to promote optimal retinal and cortical visual development.
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