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Fat intakes of children with PKU on low phenylalanine diets

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Abstract Background 

As part of a study on the effects of a fat-supplemented phenylalanine (phe)-free protein substitute on the fatty acid status of children with phenylketonuria (PKU), the adequacy of the diets of children aged 1–10 years for fat and essential fatty acids (EFA) was assessed. Methods 

Subjects randomized in a 1 : 1 ratio to a phe-free protein substitute supplemented with EFA (test-treatment group) or a phe-free, fat-free protein substitute (control group) for 20 weeks. 3-day semi-weighed records of food intakes collected at the end of the study period. Results 

Total fat and α-linolenic acid (α-LA) intakes were found to be poor in the control group (n = 19). Those in the test-treatment group (n = 24) had higher fat and EFA intakes (P < 0.05), bringing intakes closer to population norms. The youngest children (<5 years of age) in the control group appeared to be especially vulnerable to poor fat intakes because of the restricted diversity of their diets and, regardless of age, α-LA intakes by this group were poor compared with the non-PKU population. Conclusions 

The quantity and quality of fat in the diets of children with PKU, in particular young children, should be given careful consideration in trying to optimize the ratio of linoleic acid: α-LA in their diets and in satisfying the requirements of this group for fat and α-LA.

Keywords: children; docosahexaenoic acid; essential fatty acids; fat; phenylketonuria; α-linolenic acid

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: SHS International Ltd, Liverpool, UK 2: Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK 3: Dietetics Department, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham, UK 4: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, UK 5: Department of Pediatrics, Hôpital D'enfants Brabois, Nancy, France

Publication date: October 1, 2005


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