This study’s aim was to determine the optimal DHA concentration in term formula for supporting brain development in infants.
This was a double-masked, randomized, controlled, prospective trial. A total of 181 infants were enrolled at 1-9 days of age and assigned randomly to receive one of four term infant formulas with one of four levels of DHA. Infants were fed the assigned formulas until 12 months of age. 141 children completed the 12-month feeding trial and were eligible for this study. Cognitive function was assessed in 131 children at 18 months of age using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II.
When the scores of children who received any of the three DHA-supplemented formulas were combined and compared to control children, a significant difference emerged: the Mental Development Index scores of DHA-supplemented children were higher.
According to the researchers:
“These results suggest that dietary supplementation of DHA during the first year of life leads to enhanced cognitive development at 18 months of age.”