Tuesday, January 29, 2008

DHA and ARA in infant formula may be unsafe

Photo: Ancient Chemistry Set by Vortistic

A recent report from the Cornucopia Institute questioned the safety of DHA and ARA in infant formula. According to the report, infant formula with these additives have been linked to side effects including diarrhea, flatulence, jaundice and apnea.

DHA and ARA are fatty acids that are naturally present in human breastmilk. They are essential for the normal growth and development of infants.

The problem is, the form of DHA and ARA added in infant formula are not identical to what's in human breastmilk.

According to the report, the DHA and ARA additives are extracted from fermented algae and fungus with the use of hexane, a neurotoxic chemical. Furthermore, the laboratory-produced oils are only 40-50 per cent DHA and ARA. The rest of the oils is made up of sunflower oil, diglycerides, and nonsaponifiable materials -- some of these are not present in human breastmilk and are not meant to be consumed by human infants!

Ironically, milk companies are marketing DHA- and ARA-supplemented formula as "designer" infant formulas and many mothers, even doctors, are falling for it!

It is just another marketing gimmick from milk companies.

You can read the full report here:

http://cornucopia.org/index.php/replacing-mother-infant-formula-report/

6 comments:

WAHM Tara said...

Oh No! I did not even know this. I see DHA & ARA on everything now.

Good thing I do not bottle feed because it is so confusing for women to know what is the best formula to feed.

Keep Abreast said...

@tara - congratulations on breastfeeding! indeed, we have fewer things to worry about that formula-feeding moms.

Anonymous said...

I have been feeding Nestly good start with DHA & ARA for the last 4 months. I hope that if I change now that it wont be harmful to my baby!

Keep Abreast said...

@anonymous: it would be best if you went back to breastfeeding!

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but I fed my daughter the formula with DHA and ARA when she was an infant, and have to say I never had any problems with it. Now she is a healthy 6 year old girl, who is even in the gifted program. I am not sure if DHA and ARA had anything to do with it, but I am thankful none the less. For people who can not breastfeed, I feel like it is a great alternative.

April Infant formula reviewer said...

This is something that I wasn't aware of. It's amazing what companies will do.