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Omega-3 Supplemented Infant Formula Increases Long Term Growth

A recent study suggests that infant formula supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids may lead to longer and heavier children when compared with an infant formula that did not include omega-3 fatty acids.

Participants in the study included 69 infants who were raised from birth on formula. Fifty-nine of the babies were given a formula that included a long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplement, while the other 15 were given a control formula. They were fed these formulas for the first 12 months of their lives.

The researchers followed up with the children when they were six years old and found that the omega-3 group had higher length, stature, and weight-for-age percentiles from birth to 6 years of age when compared with the control group. However, the supplemented group did not have a higher BMI percentile compared to the control group.

They also found that the children of mothers who smoked had smaller length and stature, regardless of whether they took the omega-formula or the control. Those children also had higher BMIs.

Finally, the researchers noted that males had greater increases in stature associated with the supplemented formula when compared with females.

Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 18, 2015, in the journal PLEFA.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s.
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