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Do baby-food formulas provide enough DHA for the growing infant?

 

Here lies a grave omission on the part of baby formula manufacturers: no DHA, arachidonic acid, or other important fatty acids are included in the formulas. Most baby foods are derived from cow milk, but the little alpha-linolenic acid present does not adequately maintain DHA-levels in the blood comparable to breast fed infants. When breast feeding is not possible, experts suggest adding DHA into standard formula so that it will be about 0.2% of the total fatty acid content. This comes out to be about a minimum of 30 mg DHA per day. The European Union acknowledged the importance of these findings by issuing a directive on infant formula in 1995, specifying 1% of the total fats should be omega-3 fatty acids, and EPA levels should be lower than DHA. Most U.S. manufacturers have not added DHA or EPA to their infant formulas, but some are considering the issue.


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