DHA & ARA for Infants Health
Major infant brain growth occurs during pregnancy and throughout the first two years of life. During these times, infants have the greatest need for Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Arachidonic Acid (ARA). Both are important nutrients that have been shown to help brain development. Infants must obtain DHA and ARA from their diets, so it is important that parents provide them a diet that includes adequate amounts of both nutrients. Breast milk is the preferred way for infants to consume these nutrients, but if breast milk is not an option, it is recommended that the infant should be fed only supplemented formulas that contain both DHA and ARA.
Specifically, some studies have had the following results:
Certain studies have shown that infants who received optimal levels of DHA during gestation exhibited:
- Improved psychomotor development
- Improved mental processing scores at 4 years
Certain studies have also shown that infants fed formula supplemented with DHA and ARA exhibited:
- Improved mental development
- Better visual acuity
- Significantly lower blood pressure at age six which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life
Preterm infants who were fed DHA and ARA supplemented formula exhibited normal growth in terms of weight, length and head circumference and improved visual and mental development.