A presentation at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Expo, held in Chicago July 13-16, 2013, revealed a profound lack of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the standard North American diet, despite what is known of the fatty acids' benefits. Physicians and their patients are being made increasingly aware of the role of omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention or reduction of inflammatory disorders and cardiovascular disease, among other conditions. However, the eating habits of most Americans still have a lot catching up to do.
Nutritional researcher Bruce J. Holub, PhD, who is a professor emeritus at the University of Guelph in Ontario, along with Alex Richardson, PhD, of the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention at the University of Oxford in England attribute the widespread omega-3 deficiency to diets that provide little in the way of fish or seafood, which are the best food sources of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The average North American diet provides 200 milligrams EPA and/or DHA per day, which falls short of the American Heart Association's recommendation of 500 milligrams per day for healthy adults and 900 milligrams per day (which can be provided by one omega-3 supplement) for those with cardiovascular disease. For children, Dr Richardson suggests 500 milligrams omega-3 fatty acids per day, and for pregnant women, he recommends one gram.
"Physical risks to children from a nutritionally poor diet are now acknowledged, but the damage being done to their behavior, their learning abilities and mood is not," he stated. "I applaud any attempts (to recommend and encourage supplements) in the diets of mothers and women of childbearing age. It's never too late."
- On the cover:
- Three-step strategy to reverse mitochondrial aging, by Michael Downey
- The overlooked importance of vitamin D receptors, by Logan Bronwell
- New findings on coffee's cardiovascular benefits, by Julia Pace
- Rebuttal to attack against carnitine, by William Faloon, Steven V. Joyal, MD; Luke Huber, ND, MBA; Blake Gossard, and Richard A. Stein, MD, PhD
- Protect and rejuvenate delicate skin around the eyes, by Robert Goldfaden and Gary Goldfaden, MD
- Journal abstracts: