This study examines whether feeding infants formula supplemented with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) improves cognitive function of 9-month-olds.

Participants included 229 infants from 3 randomized controlled trials. Children received either formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid, or a control formula beginning at 1-5 days (12-month feeding study), or following 6 weeks (6-week-weaning study) or 4-6 months of breastfeeding (4-to 6-month weaning study). Infants were assessed with a 2-step problem solving task.

In the 12-month feeding and 6-week weaning studies, supplemented children had more intentional solutions (successful task completions) and higher intention scores (goal-directed behaviors) than controls. These results suggest that LCPUFA supplementation improves means-end problem solving.

Keywords: cognitive and mental function, maternal & infant health