Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States

Penny Margaret Kris-Etherton, Denise Shaffer Taylor, Shaomei Yu-Poth, Peter Huth, Kristin Moriarty, Valerie Fishell, Rebecca L. Hargrove, Guixiang Zhao, Terry D. Etherton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

732 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the United States, intake of n-3 fatty acids is ≃ 1.6 g/d (≃ 0.7% of energy), of which 1.4 g is α-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3) and 0.1-0.2 g is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6). The primary sources of ALA are vegetable oils, principally soybean and canola. The predominant sources of EPA and DHA are fish and fish oils. Intake data indicate that the ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids is ≃9.8:1. Food disappearance data between 1985 and 1994 indicate that the ratio of n-6 to n- 3 fatty acids has decreased from 12.4:1 to 10.6:1. This reflects a change in the profile of vegetable oils consumed and, in particular, an approximate 5.5-fold increase in canola oil use. The ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids is still much higher than that recommended (ie, 2.3:1). Lower ratios increase endogenous conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA. Attaining the proposed recommended combined EPA and DHA intake of 0.65 g/d will require an approximately 4-fold increase in fish consumption in the United States. Alternative strategies, such as food enrichment and the use of biotechnology to manipulate the EPA and DHA as well as ALA contents of the food supply, will become increasingly important in increasing n-3 fatty acid intake in the US population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume71
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

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Food Chain
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Plant Oils
Fishes
Food
alpha-Linolenic Acid
Eicosapentaenoic Acid
Food Supply
Docosahexaenoic Acids
Fish Oils
Biotechnology
Soybeans
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Kris-Etherton, Penny Margaret ; Taylor, Denise Shaffer ; Yu-Poth, Shaomei ; Huth, Peter ; Moriarty, Kristin ; Fishell, Valerie ; Hargrove, Rebecca L. ; Zhao, Guixiang ; Etherton, Terry D. / Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 ; Vol. 71, No. 1 SUPPL.
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Kris-Etherton, PM, Taylor, DS, Yu-Poth, S, Huth, P, Moriarty, K, Fishell, V, Hargrove, RL, Zhao, G & Etherton, TD 2000, 'Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States', American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 71, no. 1 SUPPL..

Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. / Kris-Etherton, Penny Margaret; Taylor, Denise Shaffer; Yu-Poth, Shaomei; Huth, Peter; Moriarty, Kristin; Fishell, Valerie; Hargrove, Rebecca L.; Zhao, Guixiang; Etherton, Terry D.

In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, No. 1 SUPPL., 01.01.2000.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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N2 - In the United States, intake of n-3 fatty acids is ≃ 1.6 g/d (≃ 0.7% of energy), of which 1.4 g is α-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3) and 0.1-0.2 g is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6). The primary sources of ALA are vegetable oils, principally soybean and canola. The predominant sources of EPA and DHA are fish and fish oils. Intake data indicate that the ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids is ≃9.8:1. Food disappearance data between 1985 and 1994 indicate that the ratio of n-6 to n- 3 fatty acids has decreased from 12.4:1 to 10.6:1. This reflects a change in the profile of vegetable oils consumed and, in particular, an approximate 5.5-fold increase in canola oil use. The ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids is still much higher than that recommended (ie, 2.3:1). Lower ratios increase endogenous conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA. Attaining the proposed recommended combined EPA and DHA intake of 0.65 g/d will require an approximately 4-fold increase in fish consumption in the United States. Alternative strategies, such as food enrichment and the use of biotechnology to manipulate the EPA and DHA as well as ALA contents of the food supply, will become increasingly important in increasing n-3 fatty acid intake in the US population.

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Kris-Etherton PM, Taylor DS, Yu-Poth S, Huth P, Moriarty K, Fishell V et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 Jan 1;71(1 SUPPL.).