There are presently no specific recommendations on how much DHA and ARA are needed in formula. The DHA and ARA used in Baby’s Only Organic® formulas are from the fats, called phospholipids, in egg yolk and are shown on the label as egg lecithin. The DHA and ARA in breast milk are primarily in the phospholipid form. All other companies’ formulas use a DHA and ARA from algae and fungus. Because phospholipids are better absorbed than triglycerides, the amounts present in Baby’s Only Organic® formulas with DHA & ARA and the 1:2 ratio of DHA to ARA are appropriate and safe and within the guidelines of the Institute of Medicine.1 Also, a full-term healthy baby has the capability of converting the essential fatty acids (linolenic and linoleic) to DHA and ARA.
High doses of omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and omega-6 fatty acids like ARA can cause gastrointestinal upset, loose stools or diarrhea.2 Excessive amounts of DHA could also cause some disruption to the immune system and excessive bleeding. 2
The typical American diet with reliance on highly processed foods and fatty foods is high in omega-6 fats and low in omega-3 fats resulting in chronic diseases such as diabetes and coronary heart disease later in life. Current recommendations suggest increasing the amounts of omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy diet and providing a better balance or ratio between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. 3 The levels of DHA and ARA added to Baby’s Only Organic® formulas with DHA & ARA Formula are not considered high and also are in an appropriate ratio to promote good growth and development in babies and young children.
With the addition of DHA and ARA from algal and fungal sources to formulas, a number of adverse reaction reports have been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration. 4 These reports document that feeding a formula containing these algal and fungal sources resulted in a number of babies suffering gassiness, diarrhea, excessive spit up, and fussiness. When the babies were provided a formula without these DHA and ARA sources, the babies no longer exhibited the adverse symptoms. For these reasons, Nature’s One has selected an egg yolk phospholipid source for the DHA and ARA in Baby’s Only Organic® Dairy with DHA & ARA Formula.