May 22, 2009

1 Min Read
Omega-3s Effect on Linear Growth, Cognition

BANGALORE, India—–In a recent study, a high-micronutrient treatment was more beneficial for linear growth than was the low-micronutrient treatment; however, with some small differential effects, higher-micronutrient concentrations were as effective as lower-concentrations on cognitive performance (Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(6)1766-75). Researchers compared the effect of two different concentrations of a combination of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids on indicators of growth and cognitive performance in low-income, marginally nourished schoolchildren. In a two-by-two, factorial, double blind, randomized controlled trial, 598 children aged 6 to 10 years were individually allocated to one of four intervention groups to receive foods fortified with either 100 percent or 15 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance of micronutrients in combination with either 900 mg of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) plus 100 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or 140 mg of ALA for 12 months.

The high micronutrient treatment significantly improved linear growth at 12 months and short-term memory at six months and was less beneficial on fluid reasoning at six and 12 months than was the low-micronutrient treatment, whereas no differences were observed on weight, retrieval ability, cognitive speediness and overall cognitive performance. No significant differences were found between the omega–3 treatments.

 

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