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Annu Rev Nutr. 2006;26:75-103.

Innovative dietary sources of n-3 fatty acids.

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Department of Nutrition, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1920, USA.


It is now established that dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are involved in health promotion and disease prevention, particularly those traditionally derived from marine sources (e.g., eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid). A number of organizations have made specific recommendations for the general population to increase their intakes of these nutrients. In response to and along with these recommendations, n-3 PUFAs are being incorporated into nontraditional food sources because of advances in the technology to safely enrich/fortify our food supply. Fatty acid compositions of traditional oils (e.g., canola and soybean) are being genetically modified to deliver more highly concentrated sources of n-3 PUFA. The advent of algal sources of docosahexaenoic acid provides one of the few terrestrial sources of this fatty acid in a concentrated form. All of this is possible because of newer technologies (microencapsulation) and improved processing techniques that ensure stability and preserve the integrity of these unstable fatty acids.

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