Brain and Eye Development: The Benefits of DHA and ARA in Baby Formula
One of the key ingredients found in most baby formulas today is DHA and ARA, but why are they important?
What is DHA and ARA?
DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and ARA (Arachidonic Acid) are two types of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, respectively, that are found in breast milk. They are essential for the proper growth and development of a baby's brain and eyesight. DHA and ARA are also believed to play a role in reducing the risk of certain health problems, such as allergies, asthma, and eczema.
Why are DHA and ARA added to baby formula?
DHA and ARA are added to baby formula to provide the same benefits to formula-fed babies as they would receive from breast milk. The goal of adding these essential fatty acids to baby formula is to give formula-fed babies the same level of brain and eye development as breastfed babies.
Do all baby formulas contain DHA and ARA?
No, not all baby formulas contain DHA and ARA. Some formula brands may not add these essential fatty acids, so it's important to check the label before making a purchase.
Are there any concerns with DHA and ARA in baby formula?
While there is no evidence to suggest that DHA and ARA in baby formula are harmful, some parents and health experts have raised concerns about their origin and production. The DHA and ARA used in US manufactured baby formula are often sourced from genetically modified algae and fungus, which some people believe may be harmful to babies. This is not allowed in EU organic formula production.
However, the safety of these ingredients has been extensively studied and there is no evidence to suggest that they are harmful to babies. The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the European Food Safety Authority all consider DHA and ARA to be safe for use in baby formula, particularly when sourced from non-GMO origins.
What are the benefits of DHA and ARA in baby formula?
One of the main benefits of DHA and ARA in baby formula is that they can help to support brain and eye development in formula-fed babies. In addition, studies have shown that formula-fed babies who receive formula containing DHA and ARA have improved visual acuity and cognitive function compared to those who do not receive these essential fatty acids.
Another benefit of DHA and ARA in baby formula is that they may help to reduce the risk of certain health problems. For example, some studies have shown that formula-fed babies who receive DHA and ARA have a lower risk of developing allergies, asthma, and eczema.
DHA and ARA are two essential fatty acids that are found in breast milk and play an important role in the growth and development of a baby's brain and eyesight. They are added to baby formula to provide formula-fed babies with the same benefits they would receive from breast milk.