All Infant Formula Should Contain DHA and ARASaturday, March 29, 2008 19:13
I have to admit that when I started seeing formula supplemented with the fatty acids DHA and ARA on store shelves around the time our oldest daughter was born, I thought it was all a big excuse to raise formula prices. I figured parents were being duped into buying these newer, more expensive formulas, just like they’d been convinced of the need for more expensive “name brand” formula in the first place.
I guess I have to change my tune now though, because a recent article by international experts on infant nutrition recommends that all infant formula should include DHA at the recommended levels of between 0.2% and 0.5% of fatty acids and the amount of ARA should be at least equal to the DHA level.
The omega-3 fatty acid DHA and the omega-6 fatty acid ARA have both been shown to be essential for optimal brain and eye development in infants. ARA is also a precursor to a group of substances that play a role in immunity, blood clotting and other vital functions. These fatty acids are particularly important during the third trimester of pregnancy and the first two years of life , when brain growth is very rapid.
It’s important to realize that experts still recommend breastfeeding as the optimal source of infant nutrition, but in the case when formula is needed, it should contain DHA and ARA at the recommended levels.