For those that don’t know, DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic Acid, and it’s one of the two omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. Your body cannot create DHA so it has to get it from your diet (It can, however, produce DHA from other fatty acids in a very limited fashion. Read about DHA synthesis at the end of an older entry on Heart Disease.) ARA stands for Arachidonic Acid, which is available in a variety of foods, such as egg yolks, and it also easily manufactured by your body with the use of omega-6 fatty acids found prevalently in vegetable oils.
According to one study, “Visual acuity in the DHA/ARA supplemented group was ‘significantly better’ than the control group each time the infants were tested at 6, 17, 26, and 52 weeks of age.” Visual acuity is basically sharpness of vision.
The other study found that DHA and ARA supplementation “resulted in enhanced growth and higher Bayley mental and psychomotor development scores in preterm infants.” It also found that the weight of the premature infants were “comparable to the breast fed term infants in the reference group” and “also had higher mental and psychomotor development scores at 118 weeks.”