February 9, 2010
DALLASSupplementing infant formula with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) at 0.32 percent of total fatty acids improved visual acuity, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010, Feb. 3). The double-masked, randomized trial was conducted at two sites (Dallas and Kansas City). A total of 343 three healthy, term, formula-fed infants were enrolled at 1 to 9 days of age and were randomly assigned to be fed one of four infant formulas containing equivalent nutrient amounts, except for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA): control (0 percent DHA), 0.32 percent DHA, 0.64 percent DHA or 0.96 percent DHA; DHA-supplemented formulas also provided 0.64 percent arachidonic acid.
Infants fed control formula had significantly poorer visual evoked potential visual acuity at 12 months of age than did infants who received any of the DHA-supplemented formulas (P<0.001). There were no significant differences in visual evoked potential visual acuity between the three levels of DHA supplementation for either site at any age tested. Higher levels of DHA supplementation were not associated with additional improvement of visual acuity.
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