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