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  1. E M Amesz1,
  2. A Schaafsma2,
  3. F A J Muskiet3,
  4. H N Lafeber1
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics and Neonatology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Research and Development, Friesland Foods, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Pathology, University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands


It was investigated whether concentrations of DHA and AA would increase if preterm infants were fed formula containing 0.4% DHA and AA instead of 0.2% DHA and AA, and whether these concentrations would be more similar to those of preterm infants fed human milk.

Infants (bw <1500 g and/or ga <32 w) received preterm formula or fortified human milk until term. Thereafter, they were randomized to a postdischarge formula (n = 30, PDF) or a standard term formula (n = 31, TF) until 6 months CA. Twelve infants were fed human milk exclusively until 3 months CA (HM3). At term, 3 and 6 months CA a venous blood sample was drawn and LC-PUFA status in the red blood cell was determined by capillary gas chromatography/flame ionisation detection.

AA, DHA and the DHA/AA ratio were higher in infants fed PDF than in infants fed TF at 3 and 6 months CA. AA was higher in HM3 infants than in PDF/TF infants at 3+6 months CA. DHA was lower in HM3 infants than in PDF infants at all times.

Feeding preterm infants formula containing higher levels of DHA and AA (ratio1:1) after term CA increases both the DHA and AA concentration and the DHA/AA ratio. Preterm infants fed human milk after term CA have lower DHA status than infants fed enriched formula. This might be due to the Western style diet of their mothers.

Amesz et al

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