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Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
and cognition in infants and
young children

SUMAN AHUJA PHD, MALLORY BOYLAN* PHD, SYBIL HART PHD
*Corresponding author
Texas Tech University, Nutritional Sciences, 15th St and Akron, Lubbock, Texas, 79409, USA

Abstract

Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA (DHA; 22:6n-3) is a long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that is an integral partof the eye and nervous system. The DHA content of breast milk is highly variable and not all infant formulas are fortified withDHA, thus, placing some infants at risk for suboptimal DHA intake. Intakes of DHA in pregnant and lactating women andinfants can be augmented through particular foods and supplements. Research is establishing the role of DHA as a possiblecontributor to enhanced behaviour and cognition in children. The purpose of this article is to review the possible roles ofDHA in breast milk and its impact on behaviour and cognitive abilities in infants as well as young children.


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