1. What is DHA?
DHA(docosahexaenoic acid) is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid. It is the major structural fat in the brain, essential to building strong, efficient connections between neurons. About 60% of the dry weight of the brain is made up of fat, of which DHA is the most abundant. No wonder, DHA is known as the building block of the brain. Besides this, it constitutes 60% of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) in the retina (eye).
2. Why is DHA so important for growing up children?
DHA is a crucial nutrient that is needed for brain and vision development. More than 95% of a child's brain develops in the first 6 years.1 In the first few years, 700 new connections are formed between brain cells every second. This forms the foundation of learning. DHA is a key nutrient that promotes connections between brain cells. In a child's brain, DHA accumulates in the largest lobe called frontal lobe which is responsible for memory, speech and emotion. Your child's critical brain activities like the sense of touch, speech and thinking capabilities peak before 6 years of age. DHA increases the level of the "feel good" neurotransmitter, serotonin and the "memory boosting" chemical acetylcholine.
3. Should I get a fortified milk formula with DHA?
Yes. DHA helps support your child’s normal brain development
Consult your pediatrician for a high quality nutritionally balanced formula that provides your child with adequate DHA and brain building nutrients during the crucial early years of growth of your little one.
4. What are the common sources of DHA?
Some of the common sources of DHA - rich food are fish and fish oils. However, as a parent you are well aware of how difficult it is to get kids to eat fish on a regular basis. Commonly consumed foods like milk, rice, vegetables and chicken have negligible or low levels of DHA.2 Hence it is difficult to get adequate levels of DHA from a child's commonly consumed food.
DHA content of foods consumed by a 2-6 years old2
*Mead Johnson & Company claim based in part on data reported by Nielsen for the Children’s Nutrition Milk Formula category across measured off-premise retail channels in 19 countries for 12 months ending December 2014.