July 24, 2020 3 min read
You have probably already heard about the importance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for babies. These are so-called polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids, or LCPs (Long Chain Polyunsaturated fatty acids). If you want to understand what they are and what they mean for your baby's diet, you've come to the right place.
LPCs are essential for people of all ages and has to be ingested through our diet. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is one of the omega-3 fatty acids, and arachidonic acid (ARA), which is one of the omega-6 fatty acids, play a decisive role in this respect. The human organism also builds them up by itself, but to do so, it needs another omega-3 fatty acid, namely alpha-linolenic acid, and the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid.
The amount of DHA and ARA which the human body can build from alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid is limited and not sufficient on its own. But don't worry - all of our formulas contain additional DHA and ARA so that they can fulfill all the important functions in your baby's body.
You are probably asking yourself: Why exactly are LCPs in baby food so important? What do these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids do? Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (such as DHA and ARA) are important for normal development of the brain, nervous system, sensory organs (especially the retina) and intelligence. They are mainly stored in the brain in the first months after birth.
LCPs are true all-rounders: they promote brain development and vision of infants.
We assure that our formulas contain enough DHA and ARA for a healthy development of your baby, and you can also do something to ensure that your breast milk contains enough DHA. A study conducted by the International Breastfeeding Journal in the USA has shown that mothers' intake of DHA affects how much DHA they can pass on to the baby with their breast milk - and as you know now: this is essential for your baby's vision development, for example.
Omega-3 fatty acids also have an anti-inflammatory effect and ensure an intact immune system - a deficiency can lead to increased susceptibility to infections. Omega-6 fatty acids, on the other hand, serve to produce hormones and act as messenger substances in the brain.
Omega-6 fatty acids can inhibit the build-up of omega-6 fatty acids in the body and, thus, have a negative effect on your child's mental development and lifelong learning ability, which is why the balance of omega 3 and 6 is so important!
Omega 3 plays a special role in visual health. DHA is an important structural fat in the brain and retina of the eye. This fat accounts for up to 97% of the omega-3 fats in the brain and up to 93% of the omega-3 fats in the retina. It is also an essential building block for the heart.
Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids could help prevent asthma and eczema in childhood.
Adding DHA to baby formula has become mandatory in Europe. Therefore, many manufacturers, like Holle, have upgraded their formulas to meet the new standard.
GOS are as important in baby food as LCPs and work hand in hand by supporting a healthy gut flora. GOS have a prebiotic effect and thus promote the growth of good bacteria in the baby's stomach. Indirectly they also support bone growth - which is why GOS are a particularly important special ingredient in our baby milk.
If you are not 100% sure that you have understood all this in detail, don't worry too much. As long as you take care of your own health and, if breastfeeding is not an option, choose milk substitutes carefully (and you certainly will if you read our articles here) you are doing a lot of things right!
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