Study Reviews

Omega-3 consumption is insufficient, despite its known health benefits

  • 12/01/2017

The results of a survey carried out among 200 adults (aged 18-80) in the USA (Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University) and Germany (Department of Preventive cardiology, Ludwig Maximilians-Universität München, Munich) published in the journal Nutrients, shows that although 80% of participants are well informed of the benefits of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) and also their dietary sources, 50% believe their diet is inadequate with regard to their consumption.

Ninety-nine percent of participants were in the category of medium-high cardiovascular risk with regard to their n-3 LC-PUFA status (measured on the Omega-3 Index): 4.3% in the USA and 5.5% in Germany (both under the recommended 8% with regard to cardiovascular health).

Over half the participants (69% in Germany and 56% in the USA) considered that their nutrient requirements could be covered without using supplements; however fish and seafood consumption in both countries is very low (reaching the optimum Omega-3 Index through foodstuffs alone is difficult and, furthermore, the composition of n-3 PUFA from factory-farmed fish has dropped over time).

In short, despite having adequate knowledge of nutrients and their health effects, the study population does not have an adequate Omega-3 Index. This shows the need to raise awareness of the issue.