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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2011 Nov;85(5):275-80. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2011.04.010. Epub 2011 May 14.

Are we consuming enough long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for optimal health?

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School of Health Sciences and Metabolic Research Centre, University of Wollongong, Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia.


The health benefits attributed to the consumption of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) are enormous but are we consuming enough for optimal health? Cardiovascular disease rates are much lower in countries like Japan compared with the Western world. Western countries' LC n-3 PUFA intakes are up to 5 fold lower than Japanese intakes. Various professional bodies and government organisations recommend 500mg LC n-3 PUFA per day. The actual reported intake of LC n-3 PUFA from Australia and various other countries are compared to these recommended intakes. Not surprisingly, the actual intakes of LC n-3 PUFA in Western countries fall short of the recommended intakes. Consumption of fish and seafood is the easiest way to achieve the recommended intakes but increased consumption of foods enriched with LC n-3 PUFA will also contribute to achieving the recommended intakes. Most people are not consuming enough LC n-3 PUFA for optimal health.

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