All nutrients are important for the brain but overall, brain development depends on key nutrients during the first 1000 days of life4. This is the time when the foundation for the development of cognitive and motoric skills but also socio-emotional skills is being laid.
DHA and ARA
The composition of the brain is dominated by the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) ARA (arachidonic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)5. The required amounts of DHA and ARA increase dramatically during the brain growth spurt5,6. Since the synthesis of both LCPUFAs by infants is limited, supply to the brain is depending on dietary intake. Recent studies suggest a link between LCPUFAs and gut microbiota, which could be beneficial for the immune system7,8.