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Nutr J. 2014 Apr 2;13:31. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-31.

U.S. adults are not meeting recommended levels for fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake: results of an analysis using observational data from NHANES 2003-2008.

Author information

1
Nutritional Strategies Inc, 59 Marriot Place, Paris, ON N3LOA3, Canada. papanikolaou.yanni@gmail.com.

Erratum in

  • Nutr J. 2014;13:64.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The American Heart Association's Strategic Impact Goal Through 2020 and Beyond recommends ≥ two 3.5-oz fish servings per week (preferably oily fish) partly to increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We examined the intake of total fish, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, α-linolenic acid, EPA, and DHA in U.S. adults (19 + years) using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2008.

METHODS:

Usual intakes from foods alone and from foods plus dietary supplements were determined using the methods from the National Cancer Institute.

RESULTS:

Mean usual intake of total fish and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids was 0.61 ± 0.03 and 0.15 ± 0.03 oz/day, 0.43 and 0.07 respectively. Total fish and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids median intake was 0.43 and 0.07 oz/day, respectively. Intake from foods alone for ALA, EPA and DHA was 1.5 ± 0.01 g/d, 23 ± 7 mg/d and 63 ± 2 mg/d, respectively. ALA, EPA and DHA from food only median intakes were 1.4 g/d, 18 mg/d and 50 mg/d, respectively. Intake of ALA, EPA and DHA from foods and dietary supplements was 1.6 ± 0.04 g/d, 41 ± 4 mg/d and 72 ± 4 mg/d, respectively. While intakes of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids were higher in older adults (0.13 ± 0.01 oz/d for those 19-50 yrs and 0.19 ± 0.02 oz/d for those 51+ year; p < 0.01) and in males as compared to females (0.18 ± 0.02 vs 0.13 ± 0.01 oz/d, respectively; p < 0.05), few consumed recommended levels. Males also had higher (p < 0.05) intake of EPA and DHA from foods and dietary supplements relative to females (44 ± 6 vs 39 ± 4 and 90 ± 7 vs 59 ± 4 mg/d, respectively) and older adults had higher intakes of EPA, but not DHA compared to younger adults (EPA: 34 ± 3 vs 58 ± 9, p < 0.05; DHA: 68 ± 4 vs 81 ± 6, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

As omega-3 fatty acids are deemed important from authoritative bodies, supplementation in addition to food sources may need to be considered to help U.S. adults meet recommendations.

PMID:
24694001
PMCID:
PMC3992162
DOI:
10.1186/1475-2891-13-31
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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