Cholesterol is an important part of a healthy body because it is used to form cell membranes, some hormones and is needed for other body functions. The main concern with intake of cholesterol is that a high level of cholesterol in the blood — hypercholesterolemia — is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attacks.
However, breast milk contains good amounts of cholesterol. (1) There is some scientific thinking that cholesterol in breast milk may be nature’s way of helping an infant’s body learn to deal with cholesterol intake later in life and may have a protective cardiovascular effect. Research is being done in the area of cholesterol intake during infancy and early childhood and potential health benefits later in life. This research is also investigating whether cholesterol should be added to standard infant formulas. Because infancy is a period of rapid growth and neurologic development requiring high energy levels, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no restriction of fat or cholesterol intake for infants younger than 2 years of age.(2)
Baby’s Only Organic® LactoRelief™ with DHA Formula contain 2 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 Calories (a 5 ounce serving). The cholesterol comes from the egg yolk phospholipid used as the source of DHA and ARA. The total cholesterol content of the diet will depend on what other foods infants consume as part of their daily diet once complementary foods are added to the daily meal plan. For comparison purposes, one large chicken egg contains approximately 215 milligrams of cholesterol. Breast milk contains high levels of cholesterol (90 – 150 milligrams per liter).(1)
(1) Demmers TA, Jones PJH, Wang Y, et al, “Effects of early cholesterol intake on cholesterol biosynthesis and plasma lipids among infants until 18 months of age,” Pediatrics, 115:6, 2005, 1594-1601.
(2) American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. Hyperlipidemia. In: Kleinman RE, Greer FR, eds. Pediatric Nutrition. 7th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2014: 795.