Three Randomized Controlled Trials of Early Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Means-End Problem Solving in 9-Month-Olds



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Addendum Volume 83, Issue 6, 2139, Article first published online: 16 November 2012

  • The authors thank the newborn nursery and postpartum care staffs of Margot Perot Women's and Children's Hospital at Presbyterian Medical Center of Dallas and of Medical City, Dallas for their collaboration. The authors are also grateful for the continuing pediatric support from Pediatric Associates of Dallas, Woodhill Pediatric Associates, North Dallas Pediatrics, Clinical Associates, and other participating pediatricians. The original studies quoted in this article were supported by Grant HD22380 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Mead Johnson Nutritionals (Evansville, IN) donated all infant formulas for the studies. Drs. Hoffman and Birch have received research funding from Mead Johnson Nutritionals for subsequent studies not reported here. Dr. Hoffman has subsequently received consultant fees from Mead Johnson Nutritionals to provide educational seminars to pediatricians and pediatric nutritionists.

concerning this article should be addressed to James R. Drover, Department of Psychology, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada A1B 3X9. Electronic mail may be sent to


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.