September 18, 2009

1 Min Read
DHA Boosts Babies Cognitive Function

DALLAS—Babies fed formula supplemented with DHA have higher cognitive skills than babies fed regular formula, according to a new study that used a more sensitive test of the babies' cognitive abilities and higher concentrations of DHA than previous research.

As reported by ScienceDaily, researchers at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center studied 229 infants, who received either formula supplemented with DHA or traditional infant formula. The babies were given the different formulas either shortly after birth, after six weeks of breastfeeding, or after four to six months of breastfeeding. At 9-months-old, they were given a problem-solving test in which they had to complete a sequence of steps to get a rattle.

Babies who were fed formula supplemented with DHA were more likely to get the rattle and showed more intentional behaviors that allowed them to get the rattle.

"Currently, there is no clear consensus on whether infant formula should be supplemented with DHA," said lead author James R. Drover."However, our results clearly suggest that feeding infants formula supplemented with high concentrations of DHA provides beneficial effects on cognitive development. Furthermore, because infants who display superior performance on the means-end problem-solving task tend to have superior IQ and vocabulary later in childhood, it's possible that the beneficial effects of DHA extend well beyond infancy."

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