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Study shows omega-3 fatty acid can help a baby’s cognitive development



According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than a third of mothers begin feeding their child baby formula in the first week and less than half breastfeed at all after the first 6 weeks. This means that creating a baby formula that mimics the essential nutrients of breast milk is vital for infants’ mental and physical development.

A new study finds that infants who are fed baby formula supplemented with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that occurs naturally in breast milk, perform better on cognitive tasks than those fed on regular baby formula alone.

Researchers began feeding infants either regular formula or formula supplemented with DHA soon after birth, after 6 weeks of breastfeeding, or after 6 months of breastfeeding.

At nine months of age, they found that those children who had been on the DHA formula after at least 6 weeks of breastfeeding were more likely than those on regular formula to be able to complete a problem-solving task.

In general, infants who display superior performance on this type of cognitive development task tend to have a superior IQ and vocabulary later in childhood. Though breast milk naturally contains the essential nutrients and fats needed for cognitive development, these findings suggest that supplementing with DHA is a good way to provide better nutrition for baby’s being fed formula.

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Attention new moms, new research shows supplementing baby formula with omega-3 fatty acids can boost and infant’s cognitive development.

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