Iowa Public Television


Building Brains

posted on March 29, 2002

It's in the can…

Essential fatty acids found in breast milk are now available in U-S baby formula and food.

Last year, the U-S Food and Drug Administration gave permission for baby foods and formulas to contain docosahexaenoic acid, or D-H-A, and arachidonic acid, or A-A. The fatty acids, especially D-H-A, are vital to eye, brain and nervous system development.

Europe has allowed the addition of the breast milk nutrients since the early 1990s, and the World Health Organization supports D-H-A and A-A additives.

But some scientist are leery of using the additional nutrients as a selling point since babies can produce these acids on their own with proper nutrition.


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