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Food Chem Toxicol. 2003 Nov;41(11):1433-46.

A review of the safety of DHA45-oil.

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Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80176, NL-3508 TD Utrecht, Yalelaan 2, The Netherlands.


Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are natural constituents of the human diet; however, dietary intakes of these fatty acids are below recommended values. The main dietary source of DHA is fatty fish, with lesser amounts provided by shellfish, marine mammals, and organ meats. The addition to traditional food products of refined oils produced by marine microalgae represents potential sources of supplemental dietary DHA. DHA45-oil is manufactured through a multi-step fermentation and refining process using a non-toxigenic and non-pathogenic marine protist. Comprising approximately 45% DHA, and lesser concentrations of palmitic acid and docosapentaenoic acid, DHA45-oil is intended for use in foods as a dietary source of DHA. The safety of DHA45-oil was evaluated in various genotoxicity and acute, subchronic, and reproductive toxicity studies. DHA45-oil produced negative results in genotoxicity assays and demonstrated a low acute oral toxicity in mice and rats. Dietary administration of DHA45-oil to rats in subchronic and one-generation reproductive studies produced results consistent with those observed in oral studies using high concentrations of omega-3 PUFAs from fish or other microalgal-derived oils. The results of these studies, as well as those of various published metabolic, toxicological, and clinical studies with DHA-containing oils, support the safety of DHA45-oil as a potential dietary source of DHA.

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