Commercial infant formulas with a ratio of linoleic acid (LA) to alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) of 10:1 or higher are nutritionally inadequate; the tissue levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are lower and the visual function indices are reduced in infants who are fed these formulas.

All the evidence points to using LA:ALA ratios of less than 8:1, but there has been only one study in infants that used formulas with reduced LA:ALA ratios, and only biochemical indices were monitored.

There is a need for both short-term studies to establish the ratios of LA to ALA that will make possible the accumulation of DHA to levels close to those in breast-fed infants and long-term trials to determine the effects of such fat blends on growth and development.