Antioxidant micronutrients in neonates

Carla Nogueira Fernanda Borges Andréa Ramalho About the authors

OBJECTIVE: To present a critical review about the oxidative stress in neonates, as well as the effect of antioxidant micronutrients in this group. DATA SOURCES: Bibliographic research in the databases Medline and Lilacs (1997-2009), selecting articles written in English, Spanish or Portuguese, with the descriptors: "neonate" and "micronutrients" combined with "antioxidants" and "oxidative stress". We examined 90 articles and 34 of them were selected. DATA SYNTHESIS: The birth is an oxidative stress which is intensified in cases of prematurity and associated diseases. Oxidative injury suffered by the term neonate is offset by the maturation of effective antioxidant mechanisms, but in preterm infants, this does not accur, since a high concentrations of antioxidants is achieved only at the end of pregnancy. Several studies have been conducted in order to evaluate the concentration of antioxidants in mature and premature neonates and to propose effective supplementation against the oxidative stress. CONCLUSIONS: Oxidative stress is present in neonates, especially in preterm infants, increasing the demand for antioxidant nutrients. There is a consensus that they should be administered in order to avoid cellular damage. Longitudinal studies with larger samples and measuring the concentrations of antioxidant micronutrients are needed in order to outline appropriate recommendations for their supplementation in term and preterm neonates.

infant, newborn; oxidative stress; micronutrients; antioxidants


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