Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in infant formula at concentrations based on worldwide human milk has resulted in circulating red blood cell (RBC) lipids related to visual and cognitive development. In this study, infants received study formula (17mg DHA/100kcal) with a commercially-available (Control: n=140; DHASCO®) or alternative (DHASCO®-B: n=127) DHA single cell oil from 14 to 120 days of age. No significant group differences were detected for growth rates by gender through 120 days of age. Blood fatty acids at 120 days of age were assessed by capillary column gas chromatography in a participant subset (Control: n=34; DHASCO-B: n=27). The 90% confidence interval (91-104%) for the group mean (geometric) total RBC DHA (µg/mL) ratio fell within the pre-specified equivalence limit (80-125%), establishing study formula equivalence with respect to DHA. This study demonstrated infant formula with DHASCO-B was safe, well-tolerated, and associated with normal growth. Furthermore, DHASCO and DHASCO-B represented equivalent sources of DHA as measured by circulating RBC DHA.

PMID: 27914519

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