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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prospective randomised trial in 1062 infants of diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Interventions to avoid atherosclerosis might be more successful if launched early in life when eating and life-style patterns are formed, but dietary interventions have been limited by fears of diet-induced growth failure. We investigated the effects of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol on serum lipid concentrations and growth in 1062 healthy 7-month-old infants in a randomised study. Every 1-3 months, families in the intervention group received dietary advice aimed at adequate energy supply, with low fat intake (30-35% energy, polyunsaturated/monounsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratio 1/1/1, and cholesterol intake < 200 mg daily). Infants in control families consumed an unrestricted diet. 3-day food records were collected at ages 8 and 13 months. Growth was carefully monitored. Between 7 and 13 months serum cholesterol and non-high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations did not change significantly in the intervention group (mean change -0.03 [SD 0.72] mmol/L and 0.01 [0.67] mmol/L) but increased substantially in the control group (0.24 [0.64] mmol/L and 0.23 [0.60] mmol/L; p for difference in mean changes between groups < 0.001). Daily intakes of energy and saturated fat were lower in the intervention than in the control group at 13 months (4065 [796] vs 4370 [748] kJ, p = 0.033, and 9.3 [3.5] vs 14.5 [4.8] g, p < 0.001, respectively), and intake of polyunsaturated fat was higher (5.8 [2.2] vs 4.4 [1.4] g, p < 0.001). Growth did not differ between the groups and was as expected for children at this age. Serum cholesterol concentrations fell significantly in parents of intervention-group infants. The increases in serum cholesterol and non-high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol concentration that occur in infants between the ages of 7 and 13 months can be avoided by individualised diets, with no effect on the children's growth.[1]


  1. Prospective randomised trial in 1062 infants of diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Lapinleimu, H., Viikari, J., Jokinen, E., Salo, P., Routi, T., Leino, A., Rönnemaa, T., Seppänen, R., Välimäki, I., Simell, O. Lancet (1995) [Pubmed]
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