Articles by Natural Health Author Ethan Huff

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Watch Out for Synthetics in Baby Formula

by Ethan Huff

(The Best Years in Life) For years, baby formula manufacturers have been fortifying and reformulating their formula blends in an effort to position them as equal or superior to natural breast milk. Beginning in 2002, many producers began supplementing their formulas with synthetic forms of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), the long chain fatty acids naturally present in breast milk. However, evidence is now showing that these synthetic additives are detrimental to children’s health, despite their continued usage in almost every available brand of infant formula.

The idea behind fortifying infant formula with DHA/ARA was substantiated based upon the fact that a mother’s breast milk naturally contains these polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are vital components to human eye and brain development, particularly in the formative infant years. But the primary distinction is that the type of DHA/ARA being used in infant formula is structurally incompatible with the form found in human milk.

Martek Biosciences Corporation, the company that produces synthetic DHA/ARA, extracts the oils from laboratory-grown fermented algae and fungus using hexane, a known neurotoxic chemical. Identified as a hazardous air pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hexane falls in the same category as many other toxins linked to causing cancer and other serious health problems.

Martek’s 1996 DHA/ARA investment promotional material distributed to formula producers states that even if the additive has no demonstrable benefit, it nevertheless allows manufacturers to market their formulas as being the “closest to human milk”. Many formula manufacturers quickly jumped on the bandwagon despite a lack of evidence proving the additive’s safety.

Formulas containing the DHA/ARA additive have been implicated in causing severe reactions in some babies, including breathing problems, gastrointestinal upset, and other illnesses. Many parents and professionals are questioning why the additive is still being used in almost every available brand of infant formula, and why the companies using the additive are being allowed to claim their product is superior to human breast milk, despite the hundreds of mounting FDA adverse event reports indicating its dangers.

Whether the culprit is the DHA/ARA itself, the hexane extraction residue, or both, is anyone’s guess since no formidable scientific safety studies were conducted prior to the additive’s introduction into the formula market. At one time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressed concern to Martek about the safety of the additive, indicating a desire to convene a formal meeting to address the issue. Martek denied this request and, shortly thereafter, the FDA reversed its previous stance and approved the additive’s use despite a lack of independent scientific safety review.

Since that time, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have revealed hundreds of FDA adverse event reports that have gone unnoticed, and the agency has failed to conduct an investigation. Typically, a few well-documented adverse event reports are reason enough to conduct a product investigation; several hundred would indicate an immediate need for scrutiny.

Many empirical reports indicate that sick babies who were taken off formula containing synthetic DHA/ARA almost immediately recovered from ailments induced since starting the formula, which indicates a clear connection between the two. Further investigation by the agency appointed to perform such analysis, the FDA, is the only proper course of action.

Not only is Martek’s DHA/ARA supplement being used in baby formulas, it is now being added to a whole host of foods and nutritional supplements for adults, since it is lauded as a great vegetarian alternative to animal-based oils that naturally contain them.

With or without synthetic additives, no baby formula can replace the amazing nourishing properties of a mother’s breast milk. It is the perfect, natural blend of immune-building, brain-developing goodness that cannot be matched or replicated. While some natural formulas may seem to come close, breast-feeding continues to be the superior method of nourishing a baby.

This article was originally published at: https://alignlife.com/articles/childhealth/watch_out_for_synthetics_in_baby_formula

See also:

Why Breast Fed Babies are Smarter

The Potential Effects of Soy, and How it Might Decimate the Health of Your Unborn Baby and the Fertility of Future Generations by Dr. Mercola

Expose Babies to Pets to Avoid Allergies

This article was originally published at: https://alignlife.com/articles/food/raw_almonds_are_pasteurized

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