Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1999 May-Jun;60(5-6):421-9.

Evolutionary aspects of omega-3 fatty acids in the food supply.

Author information

1
The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC 20009, USA. Lcgnh@bellatlantic.net

Abstract

Information from archaeological findings and studies from modern day hunter-gatherers suggest that the Paleolithic diet is the diet we evolved on and for which our genetic profile was programmed. The Paleolithic diet is characterized by lower fat and lower saturated fat intake than Western diets; a balanced intake of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids; small amounts of trans fatty acids, contributing less than 2% of dietary energy; more green leafy vegetables and fruits providing higher levels of vitamin E and vitamin C and other antioxidants than today's diet and higher amounts of calcium and potassium but lower sodium intake. Studies on the traditional Greek diet (diet of Crete) indicate an omega-6/omega-3 ratio of about 1/1. The importance of a balanced ratio of omega-6:omega-3, a lower saturated fatty acid and lower total fat intake (30-33%), along with higher intakes of fruits and vegetables leading to increases in vitamin E and C, was tested in the Lyon Heart study. The Lyon study, based on a modified diet of Crete, confirmed the importance of omega-3 fatty acids from marine and terrestrial sources, and vitamin E and vitamin C, in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, and cancer mortality.

PMID:
10471132
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center