DHA and AA improve mental development in infants
A randomized, double-blind study compared infant formula supplemented
with 0.36% docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and 0.72% arachidonic acid (AA)
with unsupplemented formula in 56 infants, from five days after birth
until four months of age. The supplemented formula was designed to closely
match essential fatty acid levels found in breast milk. Researchers
reported a significant increase in cognitive function at 18 months in
the supplemented group compared to the control group, as measured by
the Mental Development Index of the Bayley Scales. The study was published
in the March issue of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.
Although emerging science suggests that DHA and AA are essential for
normal infant development, they are currently not allowed in American
formulas. On March 1, Martek Biosciences challenged the FDA's position
by submitting a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) notice for its DHA
and AA oils, trade named DHASCO and ARASCO. Both oils are commonly used
in infant formulas in Europe and Asia.
BW Health Wire, March 7, 2000 and The Tan Sheet, March
© 2003 by Herb Research Foundation,
Boulder, CO, USA.