PloS one 2018 04 1013(4) e0195662 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0195662
Low birth weight infant (LBWIs) are prone to mental and behavioural problems. As an important constituent of the brain and retina, long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential for foetal infant mental and visual development. The effect of lactation supplemented with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) on the improvement of intelligence in low birth weight children requires further validation.
In this study, a comprehensive search of multiple databases was performed to identify studies focused the association between intelligence and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in LBWIs. Studies that compared the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID) or the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence for Children (WISC) scores between LBWIs who were supplemented and controls that were not supplemented with LCPUFA during lactation were selected for inclusion in the meta-analysis.
The main outcome was the mean difference in the mental development index (MDI) and psychomotor development index (PDI) of the BSID and the full scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ), verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ) and performance intelligence quotient (PIQ) of the WISC between LBWIs and controls. Our findings indicated that the mean BSID or WISC scores in LBWIs did not differ between the supplemented groups and controls.
This meta-analysis does not reveal that LCPUFA supplementation has a significant impact on the level of intelligence in LBWIs.