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Revista Cubana de Pediatría

On-line version ISSN 1561-3119


DIAZ-ARGUELLES RAMIREZ-CORRIA, Virginia. Suplementación enteral con ácidos grasos esenciales en recién nacidos pretérmino. Rev Cubana Pediatr [online]. 2001, vol.73, n.1, pp. 34-42. ISSN 1561-3119.

The growth rate of very low birth weight newborn infants is considerably high, mainly until they reach the term, and a balanced intake of essential fatty acids is necessary for an adequate development of the cellular membranes fundamentally from the brain and retina. The tissues from animals lengthen and desaturate progenitor fatty acids and this conversion to long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids is under active regulation. In the preterm newborn infant these mechanisms are immature and, therefore, the arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids are considered as essential if we take into account that the brain uses them as the only profile of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. The fluidity of the cellular membranes will depend on the type of phospholipid of the membranes and, above all, on the length and saturation of the acidic chain. The synthesis of prostaglandins and thromboxanes in the preterm newborn infant may vary according to the intake of arachidonic acid. In spite of the fact that the needs of essential fatty acids are estimated in a few miligrams related to the total energy metabolism, a suitable proportion between the amounts contributed by the 2 families of fatty acids should exist. The FAO/WHO and the ESPGAN have made recommendations for the use of linoleic and a-linoleic acids in children formulae for preterm infants and maintain a relation 5/15. In these cases, it is also necessary the supplementation with antioxidants to prevent the lipid peroxidation to which the neonatus receiving oxygen and with mechanical ventilation is exposed.


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