Inadequate Intake of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids during Pregnancy and Lactation, and its Association with Infant Cognitive Development

Noer laily1), Kusharisupeni2), Ratna Juwita2), Purwantyastuti3), Soedjatmiko3), Diah Mulyawati Utari2), Soeminarti Padmonodewo4), Suyanto Pawiroharsono5)


1) Center for Agroindustrial Technology-BPPT, Jakarta

2)Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia

3) Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia

4)Faculty of Psychology, Unversitas Indonesia

5)Center for Bioindustrial Technology-BPPT, Jakarta



Background: Cognitive development in early childhood is an important predictor of intelectual capacity in later life. Individuals who are markedly late in achie­ving developmental milestones are at high risk for a subsequent diagnosis of lear­ning disability/mental retardation. There is considerable interest in the role of cer­tain long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), in visual and cognitive deve­lopment throughout childhood. Omega-3 long chain poly­unsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) are important constituents of the maturing brain and therefore considered crucial for brain development in utero and in early infancy. The n-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA) are the major LCPUFA in the brain. This study aimed to examine the ina­dequate intake of PUFA during pregnancy and lactation, and its association with infant cognitive development.

Subjects and Method: This was acohort study conducted in Pandeglang, Banten. A total of 102third trimester pregnant motherswere selected for this study and followed until 4 months after child birth. The dependent variable was infant cog­nitive development. The independent variables were emotional and verbal envi­ronmental stimuli, maternal nutrition omega 3 intake. Data on maternal nutri­tion intake during pregnancy were measured by 24 hour recall and food fre­qu­ency questionnaire (FFQ). The other data were collected by questionnaire. The data were analyzed by a multiple logistic regression.

Results:Good infant cognitive development increased with adequate emotional and verbal environmental stimuli (OR= 7.52; 95% CI= 1.80 to 31.35; p=0.006) and adequate maternal nutrition omega 3 intake (OR= 5.65; 95% CI= 1.45 to 21.99; p=0.013).

Conclusion:Good infant cognitive development is determined by not only adequate maternal nutrition omega 3 intake, but also good emotional and verbal en­vi­­ronmental stimuli.

Keywords: cognitive development, maternal nutrition intake, polyunsaturated fat­­ty acids, omega 3, infant.

Correspondence: Noer laily. Center for Agroindustrial Technology-BPPT, Jakarta, Indonesia. Email: Mobile:08128030931.



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