life’sDHA: A Vegetarian Source of DHA
life’sDHA, a Sustainable, Vegetarian DHA Omega-3
DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, is the only omega-3 that supports brain, eye and heart health throughout all stages of life. According to our market research, consumers who are aware of the health benefits associated with DHA omega-3 demand it. Consider this: infant formula fortified with life’sDHA™ accounts for the vast majority of infant formula sales in the U.S. - and infant formula is just the beginning. Food, beverage and dietary supplement launches are quickly becoming consumer favorites.
life'sDHA Adds Marketing Value
The increased recognition of the importance of DHA in the diet, coupled with its limited availability in natural food sources, makes fortifying foods with DHA a great solution. Fish-free and derived from algae grown in a controlled environment, life'sDHA is the ideal choice. Because it is from algae, life’sDHA is a sustainable, vegetarian alternative to fish oil naturally free of ocean-borne contaminants, such as mercury or PCBs.
- life’sDHA is from algae, a natural, sustainable vegetarian source.
- Sustainable and fish-free.
- DHA is the only omega-3 shown to provide brain, eye and heart health benefits.
- Millions of new moms have purchased infant formula containing life'sDHA and are familiar with its benefits in brain and eye development.
- Concentrated DHA rich oil, with less oil needed to reach optimal level of fortification.
- Produced from start to finish in a controlled environment using a patented process in an FDA-inspected facility under cGMP regulations.
- Numerous application solutions and experienced technical support allows for more successful product formulation.
- Will not compromise the finished product’s sensory qualities.
- life'sDHA is from a non-GMO source and is considered both Kosher and Halal.
- Available throughout countries worldwide.
And, while there is a ready-made market of parents who know DHA is important for their children’s brain and eye development, there is also a growing number of adults who are looking for ways to keep their aging brains healthy. Food fortified with DHA is an effective way for adults to get the DHA that may currently be lacking in their diets.
DHA Pregnancy Benefits
It All Starts with a Baby
No one is more aware of the important health benefits DHA can provide than a parent. Doctors recommend DHA during pregnancy because of the important health benefits it provides to the mother and the developing infant. Upon birth, parents continue to seek out infant formulas and other products containing DHA to continue to support the rapid growth and development of their baby. As they continue to learn more about it, the parents realize that it can continue to provide important brain, eye and heart benefits not only for their baby, but for everyone in the family.
It is because of this cycle that awareness of DHA (and life’sDHA) continues to rise, especially among parents with young children. DHA has been a staple in infant formula since 2002 – and since then more and more companies have launched family-focused products containing life’sDHA. While there is an existing market of parents who recognize the importance of DHA for their children’s brain and eye development, there is also a growing number of adults who have recognized that DHA can help keep their aging brains, eyes and hearts healthy as well.
The awareness of the important health benefits of DHA isn’t limited to the United States. As international agencies continue to recognize the importance of DHA, they are continuing to develop intake recommendations for it. Throughout the world – whether the United States, Europe, Asia or Latin America – while general omega-3 awareness is almost universal, DHA awareness is building momentum due to an increasing number of infant formula, foods and supplements fortified with DHA coming to market.
DHA for Pregnant and Nursing Women
Maternal nutrition before, during and after pregnancy plays an important role in fetal and infant development, as well as in maternal well-being. Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found throughout the body, supports optimal fetal and infant brain, eye and nervous system development. Because developing infants cannot efficiently produce their own DHA, they must obtain this vital nutrient through the placenta during pregnancy and from breast milk after birth. Maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy and nursing significantly enhances the level of DHA available to the fetus and infant and may subsequently improve developmental outcomes. DHA has also been shown to play a part in maternal well-being.
Based on the growing data supporting the importance of DHA in the maternal diet, dietary recommendations for maternal DHA intake have emerged. Unfortunately, the typical diet among women of childbearing age is consistently low in DHA, due, in large part, to limited dietary sources.
Increasing recognition of the importance of DHA during pregnancy and nursing and its limited availability in the typical American diet is paving the way for perinatal products fortified with DHA. Mothers want to provide the best for their developing infants and are looking for food products specifically designed to meet their need for important perinatal nutrients, including DHA.
Importance of DHA During Pregnancy and While Nursing
DHA is a major structural component of the brain and eyes and is important for optimal infant brain, eye and nervous system development. In fact, DHA represents up to 97% of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain and up to 93% of the omega-3 fatty acids in the retina.
Maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy and nursing significantly enhances the level of DHA available to the fetus and infant. The body of research supporting the importance of DHA for pregnant and nursing women and their developing infants continues to grow.
Applications and Expertise
life'sDHA is an important prenatal nutrient that is ideal for inclusion in products targeting pregnant and nursing women. Currently, life'sDHA has been successfully added to prenatal products in the following categories:
- Prescription prenatal supplements co-packaged with DHA capsules
- Dietary supplement DHA capsules
- Foods & Beverages
DHA and ARA for Infant Formula
DHA and ARA have been associated with the mental and visual advantages that breast-fed babies have consistently shown over babies fed formulas not containing these fatty acids. Expert bodies such as the World Health Organization, the British Nutrition Foundation and a Child Health Foundation panel have recognized the importance of DHA and ARA in the infant diet and recommend their inclusion in infant formulas.
Infant formula companies have been using life’sDHA™ and life’sARA™ since 1994. Today, formulas containing life'sDHA and life'sARA have seen great success in markets worldwide. The growth in availability of products with DHA and ARA is being driven by consumer awareness of the health benefits associated with DHA and ARA in the infant diet. Millions of parents have purchased infant formula with life'sDHA and life'sARA, and, as the market has shown, they are willing to pay a premium to provide the best nutrition for their children.
Benefits of DHA and ARA for Infants
Although breastmilk is the natural source of DHA and ARA, supplemented infant formula has been shown to be a good source of these nutrients for formula-fed babies. In fact, a clinical study concluded that infants who were fed formula supplemented with DHA and ARA at recommended levels:
- Scored 7 points higher on the Mental Development Index (MDI) than infants who were fed formula without DHA and ARAi.
- Exhibited better visual acuity (equivalent to one line on the eye chart) than the non-supplemented infants and similar visual acuity to that of the breast-fed infants2,3,4.
Additional research has concluded that infants who were breast-fed for four to six months and then weaned to DHA and ARA supplemented infant formula demonstrated more mature visual acuity than those infants who were weaned to non-supplemented formula5. This supports the idea that DHA and ARA are important for optimal development beyond six months of age. Other clinical studies, particularly studies involving infant formulas with lower levels of added DHA and ARA, have not reported similar effects.
More than 100 million infants are estimated to have been fed infant formula containing life’sDHA and/or life’sARA since the beginning of 1994.
DHA and Food
life’sDHA for Foods and Beverages
While it has been shown that DHA is important for health and development, it’s difficult for most people to get enough through diet alone. Traditional sources of DHA include fatty fish or organ meats, which are not staples in the Western diet.
Fortunately, there is now another source available that can be readily added to many foods and beverages – algae. As the interest in improving health through nutrition continues to grow, and research continues to demonstrate just how important DHA is to our health, the demand for foods and beverages fortified with DHA will continue to increase. Now is the time to capitalize on this DHA marketing opportunity.
Fortify a Wide Range of Foods and Beverages with life'sDHA
life'sDHA has been successfully incorporated into a variety of applications and will provide product differentiation and added value in numerous food categories, including:
- Dairy Products
- Bakery and Confectionary
- Extrusion Products
- Spreads and Dressings
- Processed Meats
life'sDHA remains stable when subject to thermal processing conditions such as:
- Pasteurization: UHT, HTST, Batch
- Retorting: Static, Continuous
- Extruding/Cooking (Extreme)
- Drying: Tunnel, Spray, Drum, etc. (Short to Long exposure)
- Freeze Drying
- Mixing/High Shear
- Fermenting: pH changes
DHA & Omega 3 Supplements
DHA for Dietary Supplements
While it has been shown that DHA is important for health and development, it’s difficult for most people to consume enough through diet alone. This is because the primary dietary sources of DHA are limited to organ meat and fatty fish. Fortunately, as the interest in improving health through nutrition continues to grow, and research continues to demonstrate just how important DHA is to our health, the demand for DHA supplements with DHA will continue to increase.
life'sDHA Adds Value
There is a growing number of adults who are looking for ways to help keep their brains aging healthy. In 2012, there were more than 79 million Americans over the age of 55. Supplements containing DHA, an important brain fat, is an easy and effective way for adults to get the DHA that may be missing in their diets.
- Birch, E.E., et al., A randomized controlled trial of early dietary supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and mental development in term infants. Dev Med Child Neurol, 2000. 42(3): p. 174-81.
- Birch, E.E., et al., Visual acuity and the essentiality of docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid in the diet of term infants. Pediatr Res, 1998. 44(2): p. 201-9.
- Birch, E.E., et al., Visual maturation of term infants fed long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid-supplemented or control formula for 12 mo. Am J Clin Nutr, 2005. 81(4): p. 871-9.
- Morale, S.E., et al., Duration of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids availability in the diet and visual acuity. Early Hum Dev, 2005. 81(2): p. 197-203.
- Hoffman, D.R., et al., Visual function in breast-fed term infants weaned to formula with or without long-chain polyunsaturates at 4 to 6 months: a randomized clinical trial. J Pediatr, 2003. 142(6): p. 669-77.