Jumping on the omega-3 bandwagon : distinguishing the role of long-chain and short-chain omega-3 fatty acids

Turchini, Giovanni M., Nichols, Peter D., Barrow, Colin and Sinclair, Andrew J. 2012, Jumping on the omega-3 bandwagon : distinguishing the role of long-chain and short-chain omega-3 fatty acids, Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, vol. 52, no. 9, pp. 795-803, doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.509553.

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Title Jumping on the omega-3 bandwagon : distinguishing the role of long-chain and short-chain omega-3 fatty acids
Author(s) Turchini, Giovanni M.ORCID iD for Turchini, Giovanni M. orcid.org/0000-0003-0694-4283
Nichols, Peter D.
Barrow, ColinORCID iD for Barrow, Colin orcid.org/0000-0002-2153-7267
Sinclair, Andrew J.
Journal name Critical reviews in food science and nutrition
Volume number 52
Issue number 9
Start page 795
End page 803
Total pages 9
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Philadelphia, Pa.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1040-8398
Keyword(s) alpha-linolenic acid
omega-3 fatty acids
docosahexaenoic acid
docosapentaenoic acid
eicosapentaenoic acid
food industry
human physiology
linolenic acid
human metabolism
Summary Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) are almost unanimously recognized for their health benefits, while only limited evidence of any health benefit is currently available specifically for the main precursor of these fatty acids, namely α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3). However, both the n-3 LC-PUFA and the short-chain C18 PUFA (i.e., ALA) are commonly referred to as “omega-3” fatty acids, and it is difficult for consumers to recognize this difference. A current gap of many food labelling legislations worldwide allow products containing only ALA and without n-3 LC-PUFA to be marketed as “omega-3 source” and this misleading information can negatively impact the ability of consumers to choose more healthy diets. Within the context of the documented nutritional and health promoting roles of omega-3 fatty acids, we briefly review the different metabolic fates of dietary ALA and n-3 LC-PUFA. We also review food sources rich in n-3 LC-PUFA, some characteristics of LC-PUFA and current industry and regulatory trends. A further objective is to present a case for regulatory bodies to clearly distinguish food products containing only ALA from foods containing n-3 LC-PUFA. Such information, when available, would then avoid misleading information and empower consumers to make a more informed choice in their food purchasing behavior.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/10408398.2010.509553
Field of Research 111103 Nutritional Physiology
Socio Economic Objective 920411 Nutrition
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Taylor and Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30046969

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