Re: looking for dha/ara free formula
There's nothing artificial about the DHA and ARA in formula it comes from algae- a natural source.
As you say, most normal babies will be ok either way, but DHA supplementation sure aren't a gimmick and there is very interesting research being done on DHA with ADD/ADHD, heart disease, depression, alzheimers. It's been proven to be important for preterm babies and in Europe DHA is in most if not all prenatal supplements. The time DHA is most important is in utero and in the first 9 months of a baby's life, but it continues to be important for all of us throughout our whole lives-- heck there is now even research clearly showing how important DHA is in cat and dog health.
There are consequences to not getting enough of an essential fatty acid and it's pretty much impossible to get enough in our diet unless you eat fish daily which isn't recommended due to the mercury problem in our fish.
The argument of "I didn't get it and I turned out just fine" doesn't hold water for me. I'm not looking for my baby to hopefully turn out fine, I'm looking for good nutrition, the best I can give especially when it comes to brain and eye health. The amount of special needs children I see especially those with atttention issues and developmental delays is staggering and there is plenty of good science to point to essential fatty acid deficiencies playing a role. I think the best comparison I can make is folic acid which is now a no brainer for pregnant women-- yet plenty of women who DID'T take folic acid had babies without neural tube defects. My mother didn't take folic acid and I turned out fine. It doesn't mean there isn't a link or it isn't important.
My MIL smoked and drank throughout all her pregnancies and all 4 of her children turned out to be big, seemingly healthy babies and high acheiving adults. It doesn't make me think I should do as she did.
I don't think it will be too long before all infant formula will be required to contain DHA/ARA. What IS probably pointless is paying extra for foods with wee bits of added DHA as they are now making like yogurts, juices etc It's added in such small quantities that people would be much better off to supplement properly.
Last edited by Griffinsmom; 05-20-2008 at 12:12 AM.