Results

In the breast-fed group, the mean duration ofbreast feeding was 26±8 weeks, one infantwas still exclusively breast-fed, three infants were weaned, and eight infants received partial breast feeding. In the formula fed group, seven infants still received breast milk substitute formula, four infants were given follow-on formula, and one infant was fed diluted cow's milk. Contribution ofthe essential fatty acids C18:2 w-6 and C18:3 w-3 to the fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids did not differ between the two groups (Table 1). In contrast, plasma phospholipid C20:4 w 6 and C22:6 w-3 values were significantly higher in breast-fed than in formula fed infants (Tablel).

Table 1. Major polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma phospholipids of 6 to 12-month-old, healthy, full-term infants fed human milk or formula. Data are % weight/weight expressed as mean±SD. * = P < 0.001, ** = P < 0.0001.

Fatty acid_Breast-fed (n=12)_Formula fed (n=12)_

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