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DHA Boosts Infants Brain, Heart HealthDHA Boosts Infants Brain, Heart Health

September 20, 2011

1 Min Read
DHA Boosts Infants Brain, Heart Health

LAWRENCE, Kan.Infants fed formula supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are more cognitively advanced and have lower heart rates compared to babies fed regular formula, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatric Research.

University of Kansas researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind study to determine the association between infant formulas fortified with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) and infant brain and heart health. For the study, 122 term infants were fed one of four formulas from birth to 12 months; three with varying levels of two LCPUFAs (DHA and ARA) and one formula with no LCPUFA, and tested at four, six and nine months of age.

The researchers measured the heart rate and visual attentiveness of infants while they looked at images of adult human faces. They found infants who were fed fortified formula were more cognitively advanced and their heart rates were lower than infants who were fed formula without LCPUFA. The formula containing the lowest level of LCPUFA (0.3%) was found to be sufficient to produce these benefits.

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