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P. 15-18 /

Enrichment of infant formula with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA)

SHEILA T. GAUTIER*
*Corresponding author
DSM, 6480 Dobbin Road, Columbia, MD 21045, USA

Abstract

Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed an infant. Moreover global experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. DHA and ARA are, respectively, omega-3 and omega-6, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. These important fatty acids are always present in breast milk. In many instances, however, there are compelling reasons why breastfeeding or exclusive breastfeeding is not possible. The article reviews the numerous benefits reported for exclusive breastfeeding as well as other studies documenting the benefits of DHA- and ARA-supplemented infant formulas.


INTRODUCTION

Paediatricians and nutritionists recommend exclusive breastfeeding of infants until 6 months of age. It is helpful for new mothers to have current information regarding breastfeeding as well as for formula feeding. This brief article reviews recent key published literature addressing the benefits of DHA and ARA when provided in breast milk – or in the case of those who cannot breast feed, in infant formula.

BREASTFEEDING
Breastfeeding is the gold standard and the natural way to feed an infant. Paediatricians and nutritionists are unanimous in recommending that mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for about six months. In its 2012 policy statement, the American Academy of Paediatrics reaffirmed this advice,