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Long-chain polyene status of preterm infants with regard to the fatty acid composition of their diet: Comparison between absolute and relative fatty acid levels in plasma and erythrocyte phospholipids

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

Magritha M. H. P. Foreman-Van Drongelen
Affiliation:
Department of Human Biology, University of Limburg, Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Adriana C. V. Houwelingen
Affiliation:
Department of Human Biology, University of Limburg, Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Arnold D. M. Kester
Affiliation:
Departments of Methodology and Statistics, University of Limburg, Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht, The Netherlands
André E. P. De Jong
Affiliation:
Analytical Biochemical Laboratory, WA Scholtenstraat 7, 9403 AJ, Assen, The Netherlands
Carlos E. Blanco
Affiliation:
Department of Neonatology, University Hospital Maastricht, P Debyelaan 25, 6229 HX, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tom H. M. Hasaart
Affiliation:
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospital Maastricht, P Debyelaan 25, 6229 HX, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Gerard Hornstra
Affiliation:
Department of Human Biology, University of Limburg, Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER, Maastricht, The Netherlands
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Abstract

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The long-chain polyene (LCP) status of thirty-nine premature infants (birth weight < 1800 g) was evaluated. Twenty-seven infants were fed on an artificial formula, twelve received their own mother's breast milk. Fatty acid compositions of both plasma and erythrocyte (RBC) phospholipids (PL) were determined in umbilical venous blood and in weekly postnatal blood samples until the 28th day of life. Individual fatty acid levels were expressed as absolute quantities (mg fatty acid/I plasma or RBC suspension) and as relative (mg/100 mg total fatty acids) values. The changes with time in the absolute values for 22:6n-3 and 20:4n-6 in plasma were strikingly different from those of the relative values for these fatty acids. In plasma PL the inter-group differences in the absolute postnatal values for 22:6n-3 (P < 0·0005) and 20:4n-6 (P < 0·05) and the relative values for 22:6n-3 (P < 0·02) were significant, with lower fatty acid values in the formula-fed infants. In RBC PL, no significant inter-group differences in the postnatal 22: 6n-3 and 20: 4n-6 values were found. Based on the assumption that it is desirable for formula-fed infants to achieve postnatal plasma LCP values at least comparable with those found in infants fed on human milk, the findings of the present study indicate that both n-3 and n-6 LCP should be added to preterm infant formulas. Moreover, the additional importance of absolute fatty acid levels was demonstrated, although analytical procedures need to be standardized to enable effective comparison of results from different research groups.

Type
Effects of fatty acid composition of the diet
Copyright
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 1995

References

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Long-chain polyene status of preterm infants with regard to the fatty acid composition of their diet: Comparison between absolute and relative fatty acid levels in plasma and erythrocyte phospholipids
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