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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1144: Association between Breastmilk LC PUFA, Carotenoids and Psychomotor Development of Exclusively Breastfed Infants

30 Mar 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1144: Association between Breastmilk LC PUFA, Carotenoids and Psychomotor Development of Exclusively Breastfed Infants

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16071144

Authors:
Monika A. Zielinska
Jadwiga Hamulka
Iwona Grabowicz-Chądrzyńska
Joanna Bryś
Aleksandra Wesolowska

The first months of infant life are crucial for proper neurodevelopment, which may be influenced by several factors, including nutrition and nutrients (e.g., long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC PUFA) and carotenoids) of which the concentration in breastmilk is diet-dependent. This study analysed the relationship between the average concentrations of selected LC PUFA and carotenoids in breastmilk samples from the first and third months of lactation and the psychomotor development of exclusively breastfed infants at the sixth month of life. Infant psychomotor development was assessed using the Children Development Scale (DSR). The average age of infants during the assessment was 6.6 ± 0.2 months and 30.9 ± 3.8 years for mothers (n = 39 mother–infant pairs). The average concentration of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was 0.50% of fatty acids. The average concentration of carotenoids was 33.3 nmol/L for β-carotene, 121 nmol/L for lycopene and 33.3 nmol/L for lutein + zeaxanthin. The total results of the Performance scale and Motor subscale were 39 centiles and 4.1 points, respectively. Adjusted multivariate regression models revealed associations between breastmilk DHA and motor development (β = 0.275; p ≤ 0.05), α-linolenic acid (ALA; β = 0.432; p ≤ 0.05), n-3 LC PUFA (β = 0.423; p ≤ 0.05) and β-carotene (β = 0.359; p ≤ 0.05). In addition, an association between the Perception subscale and DHA was observed (β = 0.316; p ≤ 0.05; model 2). There were no significant associations between the overall Performance scale scores. Due to the positive association between concentrations of n-3 LC PUFA (ALA and DHA) and β-carotene in breastmilk and infant motor development, it is important to provide these nutrients with breastmilk. According to the diet-dependent concentration of these compounds in breastmilk, breastfeeding mothers should have a diet abundant in dietary sources of these nutrients, e.g., fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, vegetables and fruits.

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