DHA and ARA

Chat with Pharmacy Staff

Question

What is DHA and ARA and why are they in infant formulas?

Answer

DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid and ARA stands for arachidonic acid and they are synthesized versions of the essential fatty acids that are naturally found in breast milk. DHA's and ARA's presence in breast milk is the reason they are found in infant formulas. Blood levels of DHA and ARA are higher in breast-fed infant than formula fed infants without the fatty acids. There is some evidence suggesting that these fatty acids may have positive effects in the development of the brain and the retina.

Back to Pharmacist FAQs

If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.

DISCLAIMER:
Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a Walgreens.com pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.