There are presently no recommendations from the FDA or the American Academy of Pediatrics on the specific amounts of DHA and ARA needed daily in the diets of babies and young children. With regard to choosing Baby's Only Organic formulas with or without DHA and ARA, there is ongoing controversy as to whether DHA and ARA are needed in infant formula and also over the source of DHA and ARA being added to formulas.(1) One reason is that a full term, healthy infant has the capability of making the non-essential fatty acids DHA and ARA from two essential fatty acids, linolenic fatty acid and linoleic fatty acid, which are in all formulas, including our Baby’s Only Organic® formulas, as required by the U.S. Infant Formula Act. In addition, we originally chose not to add them to our Baby’s Only Organic® formulas, including our original dairy formula, because the Academy of Pediatrics has not come out with a definitive statement on the necessity of adding these two non-essential fatty acids (DHA and ARA) to formula.
Nature’s One’s “original” Dairy formulas are complete formulas even without the supplement because, as mentioned previously, they have two precursor essential fatty acids (linolenic & linoleic) that convert to DHA and ARA fatty acids in the body.
The Dairy, Whey Dairy and Sensitive formulas with DHA and ARA are the same formulation as the original formulas, but with the addition of DHA and ARA. The formulations with DHA and ARA are for parents and/or healthcare providers that prefer to have the formula supplemented with DHA and ARA.
The DHA and ARA are naturally derived from egg yolk (also called egg phospholipid or egg lecithin). This differs from the DHA and ARA that are used in many other organic and conventional infant formulas, which are derived from algae & fungus and treated with hexane solvent, acid and bleach.
The fat blend of Baby’s Only Organic® formulas meets regulatory requirements and is supplemented with appropriate amounts of DHA and ARA.
- Qawasmi A et al. “Meta-analysis of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation of formula and infant cognition,” Pediatrics; originally published online May 28, 2012; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2127. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/05/23/peds.2011-2127
You may wish to consult with your child’s healthcare should you have questions regarding DHA and ARA. A healthcare professional is in the best position to understand a child’s medical history and nutritional needs which should be taken into consideration when making recommendations.