October 4, 2011 – Mead Johnson is proud to be a part of the “DHA Intake and Measurement of Neural Development” (DIAMOND) trial published in the October 2011 issue of Pediatric Research. This is the first double-blind, randomized, controlled, prospective trial to study the cognitive effects of a wide range of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentrations provided in infant formulas. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Medical Center.
The study evaluated whether a dose response existed for four different levels of DHA (from 0 to 0.96% of fatty acids) in cow’s milk-based infant formula on the cognitive performance of infants. The three formulas with DHA also contained 0.64% of fatty acids as arachidonic acid (ARA). The study found infants fed formula containing DHA at 0.32% and 0.64% of fatty acids spent a greater percentage of time actively focusing on visual stimuli than infants fed formula with no DHA. Infants fed formula with DHA at 0.96% of fatty acids did not differ from the other DHA groups (0.32% and 0.64%) in this outcome. Additionally, all three groups fed formula with DHA and ARA had lower heart rates during testing than the group not receiving DHA. Together, these findings add to the mounting evidence for the positive effects of DHA at or above 0.32% of fatty acids in the infant diet on early neurocognitive development.
Mead Johnson provided the formulas for this study as part of its ongoing commitment to advancing scientific nutritional knowledge to help nourish the world’s children for the best start in life. Enfamil PREMIUMÒ was used in the study and contains 0.32% DHA as fatty acids. Other than the level of DHA and the lack of ARA in the formula with no DHA, all four formulas were identical.
Breast milk is the gold standard in infant nutrition and the DHA concentrations selected for this study are representative of the full range found in breast milk worldwide. For infants who are not breastfed, Mead Johnson agrees with leading health organizations and healthcare professionals around the world that infant formula is a safe and effective method of infant feeding. The safety and efficacy of DHA and ARA in breast milk and in formula for infants has been studied for more than 30 years and the body of evidence supporting their benefits is extensive.
Mead Johnson pioneered the inclusion of DHA and ARA in infant formula in the United States, and millions of babies worldwide have been fed similarly enhanced formulas. Health experts around the world, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO), the Agence Française De Sécurité Sanitaire Des Aliments (AFSSA) and the American Dietetic Association/Dieticians of Canada, have recommended that these important fatty acids be included in the infant diet. Enfamil PREMIUM provides these fatty acids at levels similar to these recommendations. These new findings add further evidence of the positive health and cognitive effects of DHA in infants.
Media contact: Gail Wood, 812-429-5703