Ample intake of the EFAs (see pp.89) is vital during infancy. Because infants absorb fat poorly and have low fat stores, they are particularly sensitive to EFA deficiency and quickly develop signs of deficiency if fat intake is low. Infants fed formulas deficient in li-noleic acid for just a few days may develop a dry, eczema-like, flaky skin rash, diarrhea, hair loss, and impaired wound healing. Deficiency also impairs platelet function and lowers resistance to infection. Regular intake of EFAs is therefore critical during infancy, and although breast milk is rich in EFAs, not all infant formulas have adequate amounts.
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