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This may be most important breakthrough in nutrition knowledge I have seen since vitamin C and E. Please see the book The China Study, published in 2004, for the whole-food, plant-based diet for optimal health

AJCN June supplement, 2006 Omega-3 fatty acid Symposium

Symposium on n-3 [omega-3] Fatty Acids: Recommendations for Therapeutics and Prevention Articles below are all linked through this link.

Every article in this symposium is exciting. After reading the abstracts to all of them, I am now taking a fish oil supplement every day, and have increased the recommendation on my dosage pages. Fish oil is now "safe and proven". It is best to find a supplement that you are confident contains no mercury.

[Take at least one fish oil tablet daily] The main dosage article is Healthy intakes of n–3 and n–6 fatty acids: estimations considering worldwide diversity. Its conclusion states "With caveats inherent for ecologic, nutrient disappearance analyses, a healthy dietary allowance for n–3 LCFAs for current US diets was estimated at 3.5 g/d for a 2000-kcal diet. This allowance for n–3 LCFAs can likely be reduced to one-tenth of that amount by consuming fewer n–6 fats." [Note Spring Valley fish oil carried by Walmart contains only 0.3 g of n-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA, so if you eat a traditional U.S. red meat and potatoes diet, you would need about 10 fish oil pills per day by this guideline. I take only one a day, but I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and minimal white food [white bread, white rice, sugar, white spaghetti,...] and lots of romaine lettuce, spinach, etc.]

Effects of n–3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1452S-1457S. Because of the paucity of data from randomized, prospective, double-blind trials, the effect of n–3 fatty acids on depression during pregnancy or the early postpartum period remains unresolved.

Carol L Cheatham, John Colombo, and Susan E Carlson
n–3 Fatty acids and cognitive and visual acuity development: methodologic and conceptual considerations
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1458S-1466S.   Higher visual acuity after DHA supplementation is a consistent finding in infants born preterm.

Linda M Arterburn, Eileen Bailey Hall, and Harry Oken
Distribution, interconversion, and dose response of n–3 fatty acids in humans
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1467S-1476S. n–3 Fatty acids have important visual, mental, and cardiovascular health benefits throughout the life cycle... Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the principal n–3 fatty acid in tissues and is particularly abundant in neural and retinal tissue. Limited storage of the n–3 fatty acids in adipose tissue suggests that a continued dietary supply is needed. A large proportion of dietary -linolenic acid (ALA) is oxidized, and because of limited interconversion of n–3 fatty acids in humans, ALA supplementation does not result in appreciable accumulation of long-chain n–3 fatty acids in plasma. ..Plasma DHA concentrations equilibrate in approximately 1 mo and then remain at steady state throughout supplementation. DHA doses of 2 g/d result in a near maximal plasma response.

[FIGURE 10 shows the ratio of omega-3 fatty acid intake to other fatty acids. If US intake is defined as 1, intake in Italy is about 3, and in Japan it is about 10. This provides some explanation of the "Mediterranean diet" and the benefit of eating very little red meat.]

Jan L Breslow
[omega-3 essential for healthy heart] n–3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1477S-1482S.Randomized control trials (RCTs) in the context of secondary prevention also indicate that the consumption of EPA plus DHA is protective at doses <1 g/d. The therapeutic effect appears to be due to suppression of fatal arrhythmias rather than stabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. At doses >3 g/d, EPA plus DHA can improve cardiovascular disease risk factors, including decreasing plasma triacylglycerols, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, and inflammation, while improving vascular reactivity. Mainly on the basis of the results of RCTs, the American Heart Association recommends that everyone eat oily fish twice per week and that those with coronary heart disease eat 1 g/d of EPA plus DHA from oily fish or supplements.

Joseph R Hibbeln, Levi RG Nieminen, Tanya L Blasbalg, Jessica A Riggs, and William EM Lands
Healthy intakes of n–3 and n–6 fatty acids: estimations considering worldwide diversity
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1483S-1493S. Design: Deficiency in n–3 LCFAs was defined as attributable risk from 13 morbidity and mortality outcomes, including all causes, coronary heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, homicide, bipolar disorder, and major and postpartum depressions. [see also above]

Elizabeth J Johnson and Ernst J Schaefer
[omega-3 essential for healthy brain and eyes] Potential role of dietary n–3 fatty acids in the prevention of dementia and macular degeneration
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1494S-1498S. Dementia and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are major causes of disability in the elderly. n–3 Fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are highly concentrated in brain and retinal tissue and may prevent or delay the progression of dementia and AMD... Our own unpublished observations from the Framingham Heart Study suggest that 180 mg/d of dietary DHA (2.7 fish servings/wk) is associated with an 50% reduction in dementia risk. At least this amount of DHA is generally found in one commercially available 1-g fish oil capsule given daily.

Yvon A Carpentier, Laurence Portois, and Willy J Malaisse
[omega-3 essential to prevent diabetes] n–3 Fatty acids and the metabolic syndrome
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1499S-1504S.Increased intakes or supplements of n–3 marine fatty acids may improve defects in insulin signaling and prevent alterations in glucose homeostasis and the further development of type 2 diabetes. This is largely mediated through a reduction in fatty acid accumulation in muscle and liver.

Philip C Calder
[omega-3 act like potent antiinflammatory agents] n–3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation, and inflammatory diseases
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1505S-1519S. At sufficiently high intakes, long-chain n–3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as found in oily fish and fish oils, decrease the production of inflammatory eicosanoids, cytokines, and reactive oxygen species and the expression of adhesion molecules. Long-chain n–3 PUFAs act both directly (eg, by replacing arachidonic acid as an eicosanoid substrate and inhibiting arachidonic acid metabolism) and indirectly (eg, by altering the expression of inflammatory genes through effects on transcription factor activation). Long-chain n–3 PUFAs also give rise to a family of antiinflammatory mediators termed resolvins. Thus, n–3 PUFAs are potentially potent antiinflammatory agents. As such, they may be of therapeutic use in a variety of acute and chronic inflammatory settings. Evidence of their clinical efficacy is reasonably strong in some settings (eg, in rheumatoid arthritis) but is weak in others (eg, in inflammatory bowel diseases and asthma).

[control of gene expression and signalling is now a major role of nutrition not recognized widely until 2000] Richard J Deckelbaum, Tilla S Worgall, and Toru Seo n–3 Fatty acids and gene expression
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1520S-1525S. The mechanisms whereby n–3 fatty acids affect gene expression are complex and involve multiple processes. As examples, n–3 fatty acids regulate 2 groups of transcription factors, such as sterol-regulatory-element binding proteins and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, that are critical for modulating the expression of genes controlling both systemic and tissue-specific lipid homeostasis. Modulation of specific genes by n–3 fatty acids and cross-talk between these genes are responsible for many effects of n–3 fatty acids.

Sarah K Gebauer, Tricia L Psota, William S Harris, and Penny M Kris-Etherton
[Supports at least one fish oil tablet daily] n–3 Fatty acid dietary recommendations and food sources to achieve essentiality and cardiovascular benefits
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1526S-1535S. Dietary recommendations have been made for n–3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to achieve nutrient adequacy and to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. ..The evidence base supports a dietary recommendation of 500 mg/d of EPA and DHA for cardiovascular disease risk reduction. For treatment of existing cardiovascular disease, 1 g/d is recommended. .. A dietary strategy for achieving the 500-mg/d recommendation is to consume 2 fish meals per week (preferably fatty fish)...

Sharon R Akabas and Richard J Deckelbaum
Summary of a workshop on n–3 fatty acids: current status of recommendations and future directions
Am J Clin Nutr 2006 83: 1536S-1538S.


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