27) Effects of long-chain PUFA supplementation in infant formula on cognitive function in later childhood

Willatts P et al; Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug; 98(2):536S-42S.

DHA concentrations are lower in the cerebral cortex of term and preterm infants fed formula containing no LC-PUFAs compared with infants fed human milk, suggesting that DHA synthesis may be inadequate to meet the infant’s needs during the first months of life

DHA influences the duration of sustained attention and speed of processing in infants.

Better visual acuity has been observed in children aged 4 y who were fed DHA-enriched formula compared with control formula

LC-PUFA–supplemented children were faster and more efficient at processing information. Speed of processing has been identified as an important factor in a wide range of cognitive processes such as reasoning, memory, and problem solving (51), and our findings suggest that dietary preformed LC-PUFAs in the first months of life may have long-term consequences for the development of cognitive function in later childhood.