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Nutritional formulae for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic (AA) deficiency control in extreme premature infants

20th national competition for scientific and technical research

Food security and biotechnology

Senior Researcher : Miguel Sáenz de Pipaón Marcos

Research Centre or Institution : Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica. Hospital Universitario La Paz. Madrid.


Objective 1. Development of nutritional bioavailable formulae of DHA and AA for extremely premature infants: The emulsion has been utilized in one of the pilot clinical trials in this preterm infant’s project. For this reason, we have considered relevant study this emulsion in an in vitro digestion model. Once intestinal phase is finished, the digestion product is centrifuged, and three phases were obtained. Micellar phase is the bio accessible phase, and oily phase represents the undigested portion of the oil. Oily phase is comprised of diacylglycerols and triacylglycerols mainly. This oily phase corresponds to ca. 30% of all the oil digested which indicates very poor digestibility of this oil. Objective 2. Clinical and molecular validation of nutritional bioavailable formulae of DHA and AA for extremely premature infants: Randomized controlled trial of early arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid enteral supplementation in very preterm infants. Front Pediatr. 2022 Aug 25;10:947221. doi: 10.3389/fped.2022.947221. Objective 3. Molecular mechanisms involved in clinical outcome of nutritional bioavailable formulae of DHA and AA for extremely premature infants. Genotyping of a panel of 64 SNPs related to DHA metabolism and clinical response to DHA supplementation. We selected 50 genes, classified into genetic pathways, and 60 putative functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with metabolism, metabolic health, and immune system. Samples from 35 patients were collected and DNA was extracted, treatment was administrated in 19 (54.3%) patients (n=7, 60 mg/kg and n=12 80 mg/kg) and in 16 (45.7%) placebo was given. Genotyping of these samples is currently being carried out.


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