A study recently published in BMJ Open found that most adults and children have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their serum. Pharmavite conducted the cross-sectional study and analyzed the US population data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2012 to determine the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in serum: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The results showed that 95.5% of children and 68.35% of adults 20 years and older had long-chain omega-3 levels below 2.49%, which is the DGA recommended intake of omega-3 -Fatty acids. The majority of adults (97%) had DHA levels below 2.85%, which is associated with a lower risk of atrial fibrillation. Among adults, 88.7% of the population had an omega-3 index in the high cardiovascular risk category, 10.4% of adults in the medium risk category, and only 1% of adults in the low risk category.
“Low serum levels confirm that omega-3 fatty acid intake is inadequate for most Americans, especially young children, and it shows that more work is needed to educate the public about the important roles EPA, DPA and DHA play in helping to educate human health. “Said Susan Mitmesser, PhD, Vice President, Science and Technology, Pharmavite, in a press release. “Healthy habits that form early in development inform and pave a healthy path later in life. It is therefore important that young children have access to foods rich in essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to sleep and physical activity. “