FAB RESEARCH COMMENT:
For further information on this important topic, and the potential risks and dangers to infant health and development that could follow from the misguided EFSA recommendation that AA in infant formula is not essential, even if pre-formed DHA is added
,* please see:
* the key point is that providing DHA pre-formed is likely to drive down AA concentrations
1) the very same enzymes are needed to convert either short-chain omega-3 and omega-6 fats (ALA and LA respectively) to their longer-chain forms (omega-3 EPA/DHA, and omega-6 AA, as well as the lesser known omega-6 DGLA), which are the biologically important forms.
2) providing the long-chain forms of either
series will act to 'down-regulate' - i.e. reduce the activity - of these conversion enzymes
For formula-fed infants (for whom that formula is likely to be their main food source for many months), a lack of AA could cause serious and permanent harm, given the critical importance of AA to cardiovascular, immune and brain and nervous system development.