Omega-3 Oil supplement health benefits of these fatty acids, dosage, availability in pill form by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 13, 2014

Omega 3 fatty acids are fascinating nutrients. Almost every aspect of our health -- physical and mental -- is related to the types of fatty acids that make up our cells and tissues. And it appears that most of us are not ingesting the right kind of fatty acids -- the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oils. The most common omega fatty acids are omega 3, 6 and 9. This page will mainly discuss omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA.

Qualified Health Claim allowed by FDA
"The scientific evidence about whether omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) is suggestive, but not conclusive. Studies in the general population have looked at diets containing fish and it is not known whether diets or omega-3 fatty acids in fish may have a possible effect on a reduced risk of CHD. It is not known what effect omega-3 fatty acids may or may not have on risk of CHD in the general population."
"Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. FDA evaluated the data and determined that, although there is scientific evidence supporting the claim, the evidence is not conclusive."

Benefits for various medical conditions
Cardiovascular
Promote healthy cholesterol levels
Reduce blood "stickiness" for better flow and pressure
Contribute to reduced triglyceride levels

Neurological
Helps with maintenance of positive mood
May improve concentration and memory, in children and adults
Offers relief for discomfort associated with women's monthly cycle

Bone and Joint
Helps maintain joint flexibility and mobility
Promote less stiffness, swelling and tenderness in joints

Other
Supports visual health and may protect against age-related eye complications. Supplementing infant formula in an effort to strengthen babies' eyesight does appear to benefit early vision development.
Promote healthy respiratory function.

Products over the counter
 

Buy Omega-3 oils in the form of Fish Oils, this link has an article on dietary sources
Supplies 120 mg DHA and 180 mg EPA per softgel

Smaller softgels such as Fisol, 180 Softgels are available

DHA supplements are also available for sale.

Also consider
Krill Oil supplements


Alzheimer's Disease
It appears Omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of fish oils, are able to help patients who have mild Alzheimer's disease. Since current drugs used for Alzheimer's disease are not very helpful, and potentially dangerous, perhaps doctors should initially try omega-3 fatty acids in mild cases of AD rather than cholinesterase inhibitors.

Omega-3 fatty acid treatment in 174 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease: OmegAD study: a randomized double-blind trial.
Arch Neurol. 2006. Department of Neurobiology, Caring Sciences and Society, Section of Clinical Geriatrics, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm.
Epidemiologic and animal studies have suggested that dietary fish or fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids, for example, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, may prevent Alzheimer disease (AD). Two hundred four patients with AD whose conditions were stable while receiving acetylcholine esterase inhibitor treatment and who had a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 15 points or more were randomized to daily intake of 1.7 g of docosahexaenoic acid and 0.6 g of eicosapentaenoic acid (omega-3 fatty acid-treated group) or placebo for 6 months, after which all received omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for 6 months more. Administration of omega-3 fatty acid in patients with mild to moderate AD did not delay the rate of cognitive decline according to the MMSE or the cognitive portion of the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale. However, positive effects were observed in a small group of patients with very mild AD.

Asthma
Ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and childhood asthma.
Asthma. 2004.
We found evidence for a modulatory effect of the dietary n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratio on the presence of asthma in children. Our results provide evidence that promotion of a diet with increased n-3 fatty acids and reduced n-6 fatty acids to protect children against symptoms of asthma is warranted.

Atrial fibrillation
Increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) in adults, by about 30%. Circulation, 2012.

Cholesterol management
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are recommended to those with high cholesterol levels.

Omega-3 as well as caloric restriction prevent the age-related modifications of cholesterol metabolism.
Mech Ageing Dev. 2008.
Intracellular concentration of cholesterol is regulated by the balance between endogenous synthesis and exogenous uptake; endogenous synthesis is subject to feedback control of hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase activity, while the exogenous supply is mainly controlled by the modulation of the low-density lipoprotein receptor. During ageing, hepatic lipid modifications occur and caloric restriction are able to prevent these changes. So, the aim of this work was to evaluate the mechanisms underlying the effect exerted both by caloric restrictions and by a diet enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids, on the cholesterol plasma levels during ageing, by studying the regulation of the protein involved in cholesterol homeostasis maintenance. Livers from diet restricted and Omega-3 supplemented diet fed 24-month-old rat were used to analyze, the protein complex of cholesterol homeostasis maintenance and those ones that are able to modulate 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase. Both caloric restriction and Omega-3 supplemented diets are able to prevent hihg cholesterol, by regulating HMG-CoAR activation state by controlling ROS production and p38 phosphorylation. Moreover also the age-dependent loss of LDLr membrane exposition is prevented.

Omega 3 for depression and mood elevation
There have been a few studies that indicate countries that have a high intake of omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oils, have a lower number of cases of depression.
   According to a University of Pittsburgh study, omega-3 fatty acids, which are plentiful in fatty fish like salmon, seem to affect areas of the brain associated with emotion. Dr. Sarah M. Conklin observed that people with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were more apt to have a negative outlook and to be more impulsive, while those with higher levels typically were more agreeable and less likely to exhibit a sour mood. In their latest study, Dr. Sarah Conklin and colleagues set out to see whether the volume of gray matter in the brain, especially in areas related to mood, was proportionally related to the amount of omega-3 fatty acid consumed. They asked 55 healthy adults about their average intake of omega-3 fatty acids and used MRI bran scans to determine gray matter volume. As the researchers theorized, the higher the intake of omega-3 the larger were the volumes of gray matter in areas of the brain associated with mood and regulation of emotion. While these findings hint that omega-3s may contribute to structural improvement in areas of the brain related to emotion -- the same areas where gray matter is reduced in people with mood disorders such as depression -- further studies are needed to determine whether eating fish actually causes changes in the brain, the researchers note.

University of Pittsburgh researchers found that volunteers with lower blood levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were more likely than others to be impulsive, to have a more negative outlook, and to report mild or moderate symptoms of depression. Study participants with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were found to be more agreeable, however. A number of previous studies have linked lower levels of omega-3 to clinically significant conditions such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse and attention-deficit disorder.

Omega-3 fatty acids and depression during pregnancy
For pregnant women diagnosed with major depressive disorder, treatment with omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduces symptoms of depression. Depression is associated with the abnormality of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The requirements of the growing baby lead to a decrease of omega-3 PUFAs in the mother during pregnancy, and this might precipitate the occurrence of depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, April 2008.

Diabetic patients could benefit with improved blood flow
In subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus, 6 weeks of supplementation with n–3 fatty acids reduced the postprandial decrease in macrovascular function relative to placebo. Moreover, n–3 FA supplementation improved postprandial microvascular function. These observations suggest a protective vascular effect of n–3 FAs. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.

Omega 3 benefit for heart health
In elderly people, omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil increase a measure of heart-healthiness called heart rate variability.  Taking a daily omega 3 fish oil supplement may therefore reduce the risk of developing irregular heart rhythm or succumbing to sudden cardiac death.

Liver health
BMC Pediatrics. May 2013. Omega-3 fatty acids for treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: design and rationale of randomized controlled trial. Potential efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of NAFLD will provide needed rationale for use of this safe diet supplement together with weight reduction therapy in the growing population of children with NAFLD.

Longevity, living longer
Ann Intern Med. 2013. Plasma phospholipid long-chain ω-3 fatty acids and total and cause-specific mortality in older adults: a cohort study. Mozaffarian D. Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (20:5ω-3), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) (22:5ω-3), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (22:6ω-3), have been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk. Paarticipants: 2692 U.S. adults aged 74 years (±5 years) without prevalent coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, or heart failure at baseline. Phospholipid fatty acid levels and cardiovascular risk factors were measured in 1992. Relationships with total and cause-specific mortality and incident fatal or nonfatal CHD and stroke through 2008 were assessed. Higher plasma levels of ω3-PUFA biomarkers were associated with lower total mortality. Lower risk was largely attributable to fewer cardiovascular than noncardiovascular deaths. Individuals in the highest quintile of phospholipid ω3-PUFA level lived an average of 2.22 more years after age 65 years than did those in the lowest quintile. Higher circulating individual and total omega3 levels are associated with lower total mortality, especially coronary heart disease death, in older adults.
   Comments: I do not see the need to have blood tests done to measure levels of EPA and DHA in the blood stream. Just make sure to include more foods that have these important fatty acids in your diet and practice additional steps to enhance your longevity.

Am J Epidemiol. Feb 3 2014. Intake of Long-Chain ω-3 Fatty Acids From Diet and Supplements in Relation to Mortality. Evidence from experimental studies suggests that the long-chain ω-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid have beneficial effects that may lead to reduced mortality from chronic diseases, but epidemiologic evidence is mixed. Our objective was to evaluate whether intake of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids from diet and supplements is associated with cause-specific and total mortality. Study participants (n = 70,495) were members of a cohort study (the Vitamins and Lifestyle Study) who were residents of Washington State aged 50-76 years at the start of the study (2000-2002). Participants were followed for mortality through 2006 (n = 3,051 deaths). Higher combined intake of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid from diet and supplements was associated with a decreased risk of total mortality (hazard ratio and mortality from cancer but only a small reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease. These results suggest that intake of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids may reduce risk of total and cancer-specific mortality.

Lung function and COPD
Healthy fats found in fish and vegetable oils may help ease the inflammation that marks chronic lung disease. In a small study of adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Japanese researchers at Kagoshima University Hospital found that supplements of omega-3 fatty acids appeared to improve patients' breathing difficulties -- possibly by countering the airway inflammation seen in the disease. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs, are found largely in oily fish, and to a lesser extent in flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil. Research has suggested that these fats -- particularly fish oils -- may help lower the risk of heart disease and other ills, possibly due to their anti-inflammatory effects. COPD is a group of serious lung diseases that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Half of the 64 patients drank a liquid supplement rich in omega-3 fats each day; the other half drank a supplement containing omega-6 fats, another type of polyunsaturated fat found in many foods, including vegetable oils and meat. After two years, patients in the omega-3 supplement group showed an overall improvement on tests that measured their breathing during a short bout of exercise. At the same time, levels of certain inflammatory proteins in their blood and mucus generally declined -- suggesting that the improvements in lung capacity arose from the anti-inflammatory effects of the fatty acids: Chest, 2005.

Polyposis relief
One potential benefit is reduction in familial adenomatous polyposis signs.

Prostate Cancer risk, does it decrease or increase?
There was a report in the May 2013 issue of the NEJM that higher levels in the blood are associated with a higher risk for prostate cancer. However, I am not fully ready to accept this finding yet until more trials show the same outcome.

Public Health Rep. 1989. Cancer in Alaskan Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts, 1969-83: implications for etiology and control. The authors collected and analyzed cancer incidence data for Alaska Natives (Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts) for the 15-year period 1969-83 by ethnic and linguistic groups. Compared with U.S. whites, observed-to-expected ratios are high in more than one ethnic group for cancer of the nasopharynx, salivary gland, liver, gallbladder, and cervix. Low ratios were found for cancer of the breast, uterus, bladder, and melanoma. In Alaska, Eskimos have the highest risk for cancer of the esophagus and liver and the lowest risk for breast and prostate cancer. Risk for multiple myeloma in Indian men in Alaska exceeds not only those of other Native groups in Alaska but that in U.S. whites as well. Despite the short period studied, increases in cancer incidence over time can be documented for lung cancer in Eskimo men and women combined, and for cervical cancer, especially in Indian women.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003. Inuit are protected against prostate cancer. We conducted an autopsy study in 1990-1994 among 61 deceased males representative of all deaths occurring in Greenland and found only one invasive prostate cancer. Histological data were available for 27 autopsies and revealed no latent carcinoma. Our results suggest that in situ carcinoma is rare among Inuit and that their traditional diet, which is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium, may be an important protective factor.

Deficiency as cause of illness and disease
Omega-3 deficiency is the sixth biggest killer of Americans and more deadly than excess trans fat intake, according to a 2010 Harvard University study. Investigators looked at 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors such as tobacco smoking and high blood pressure and used a mathematical model to determine how many fatalities could have been prevented if better practices had been observed. The study, jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Association of Schools of Public Health, drew on 2005 data from the US National Health Center for Health Statistics. They determined that there were 72,000-96,000 preventable deaths each year due to omega-3 deficiency, compared to 63,000-97,000 for high trans fat intake.

Omega 3 in Food, content in diet
Omega 3 fatty acids, such as alpha linolenic acid are found in polyunsaturated oils. The best oils for omega 3 fatty acids include flax seed oil and fish oils (also found in krill oil supplements). Walnuts have a small amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Another good source of omega 3 fatty acids is hemp oil.
   Basically, foods that have omega-3 fatty acids are cold water fish such as salmon, herring, halibut, and sardines, omega-3 fortified eggs, walnuts, flax seeds, hemp seeds, seaweeds and sea vegetables.

Omega 3 supplements, take with or without food?
Does your body utilize / absorb more omega 3 with or without food? Please take into account that I am comfortable taking supplements with and without food.
Also do you know if it's true, that if you take them on an empty stomach, that they could be accidentally metabolised as fuel instead for their most useful properties?
   These are excellent questions that I have also tried to understand. I have tried 5 to 10 fish oil supplements on an empty stomach in the morning and have noticed effects from them later in the day, such as improved vision, which makes me think they are absorbed without food and not utilized as an energy source. But I have not seen any studies focusing on these questions so I do not know for sure. For practical purposes, I would think taking these omega-3 supplements sometimes with food and other times without food would be a practical approach.

Omega 3 versus 6 and inflammation
For the past several decades, changes in the Western diet, such as more fried foods, junk foods, and less fish, have changed the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids -- found in meat and vegetable oils -- compared with omega-3 fatty acids -- found in flax and fish oil. The increased omega 6 to 3 ratio has led to a higher rate of inflammation. Western diets often have ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 in excess of 10 to 1. Floyd Chilton of Wake Forest University School of Medicine developed a dietary intervention program in which 27 healthy humans were fed a controlled diet with a 2:1 omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids over a period of five weeks.
Floyd Chilton found that many key signaling genes that promote inflammation were reduced in those with the low omega 6 to 3 ratio diet compared to a normal Western diet containing more red meat and vegetable oils. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2009.

Omega 7 oils
Q. I’m hearing a lot of talk lately about omega 7, please tell me anything you can about this. I’m hearing, use grapeseed, omega 7 and coq10. I come to you because I trust you where I do not trust others on the web...and you are the only one I will buy my R-ALA from, yours is “effective” where I’ve found others not to be.
   A. Omega-7 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids in which the site of unsaturation is seven carbon atoms from the end of the carbon chain. The two most common omega-7 fatty acids are palmitoleic acid and vaccenic acid. Sources include macadamia nut oil and sea buckthorn oil.

Telomere length
Investigators evaluated the connection between levels of omega-3 oils obtained from fish in the blood of patients with coronary heart disease and the length of their telomeres. The study involved 608 ambulatory outpatients with stable coronary heart disease. Participants whose omega-3 levels were in the lowest quarter showed telomere shortening of 0.13 telomere units, whereas participants who were in the highest quarter of omega-3 levels showed telomere shortening of 0.05 telomere units. The investigators say, “baseline levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids were associated with decelerated telomere attrition over five years. The association was linear and persisted after adjustment for potential confounders, this raises the possibility that omega-3 fatty acids may protect against cellular ageing in patients with coronary heart disease.” Farzaneh-Far R, Lin J, Epel ES, et al. Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010.

Research trials
Eating fish appears to knock a few years off your mental age -- in a good way. Elderly people who ate fish at least once a week had the mental functioning of a person three years younger than their chronological age, while those who ate fish twice weekly or more turned the clock back four years. Seafood is rich in omega-3 acids. One of these acids in particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is essential for the development of the brain in early life. More recent research suggests DHA may be key for people at the other end of the age spectrum

The fatty acids found in fish may slightly lower a man's risk of prostate cancer, but another type of fatty acid found in a range of foods may raise the risk, a large study suggests. Researchers found that among nearly 48,000 U.S. men followed for 14 years, those with the highest intakes of two fatty acids found in oily fish were 26 percent less likely than men with the lowest intakes to develop advanced prostate cancer. The opposite was true, however, when it came to alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. Like the two fish-oil fats, ALA is an omega-3 unsaturated fatty acid that is thought to promote heart health; it is found in vegetable sources such as soybeans, canola oil, walnuts and flaxseed, and to a lesser extent in meat and dairy products. In this study, men with the highest intake of ALA were about twice as likely as those with the lowest intakes to develop advanced prostate cancer. And the risk was increased regardless of whether the ALA came from vegetable or animal sources, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Cognitive aging, childhood intelligence, and the use of food supplements: possible involvement of omega–3 fatty acids
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004
We examined the effects of food supplement use on cognitive aging. This was an observational study of subjects born in 1936 whose mental ability was tested in 1947 and who were followed up in 2000–2001, at which time cognition, diet, food supplement use, and risk factors for vascular disease were assessed. In a nested case-control study, fish-oil users were matched with nonusers, and cognitive function was related to erythrocyte omega3 fatty acid composition. Childhood intelligence quotient (IQ) did not differ significantly by category of food supplement use (ie, none, fish oil, vitamins, and other). At the age of 64 y, cognitive function was higher in food supplement users than in nonusers before adjustment for childhood IQ. After adjustment for childhood IQ, digit symbol (mental speed) test scores were higher in food supplement users. Fish-oil supplement users consumed more vitamin C and vegetable and cereal fiber than did non-supplement-users. In a nested case-control study, erythrocyte membrane omega–3 content was higher in fish-oil supplement users than in nonusers, but cognitive function did not differ significantly between groups. Total erythrocyte n–3 fatty acids and the ratio of docosahexaenoic acid to arachidonic acid was associated with better cognitive function in late life before and after adjustment for childhood IQ. Conclusions: Food supplement use and erythrocyte n–3 content are associated with better cognitive aging. If associations with n–3 content are causal, optimization of omega n–3 and n–6 fatty acid intakes could improve retention of cognitive function in old age.

Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Simopoulos AP. The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC
J Am Coll Nutr. 2002;
Among the fatty acids, it is the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which possess the most potent immunomodulatory activities, and among the omega-3 PUFA, those from fish oil-eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid--are more biologically potent than alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Some of the effects of omega-3 PUFA are brought about by modulation of the amount and types of eicosanoids made, and other effects are elicited by eicosanoid-independent mechanisms, including actions upon intracellular signaling pathways, transcription factor activity and gene expression. Animal experiments and clinical intervention studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and, therefore, might be useful in the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Coronary heart disease, major depression, aging and cancer are characterized by an increased level of interleukin 1 (IL-1), a proinflammatory cytokine. Similarly, arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and lupus erythematosis are autoimmune diseases characterized by a high level of IL-1 and the proinflammatory leukotriene LTB(4) produced by omega-6 fatty acids. There have been a number of clinical trials assessing the benefits of dietary supplementation with fish oils in several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases in humans, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis and migraine headaches. Many of the placebo-controlled trials of fish oil in chronic inflammatory diseases reveal significant benefit, including decreased disease activity and a lowered use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Questions
Q. I want to buy an omega 3 pure supplement but don't know how many mg of epa and dha should be in each capsule.
     A. It's hard to say what the ideal ratios are, but a ratio that I like is 180 mg epa and 120 dha per capsule.

Q. Is omega3 a vitamin?
     A. A vitamin is a substance that the body cannot make and is necessary for metabolism. Fatty acids are not vitamins since the body can make almost all necessary fatty acids from other fatty acids.

Q. What's a good dosage of omega3 oil for a child?
     A. A child would need less than an adult, one capsule of omega3 fish oil should be fine.

Q. How do I know the omega 3 fish oil product i buy is pure?
     A. You may wish to buy from a reliable company. It's hard to know for sure a product is pure unless it is tested in a lab.

Q. Does omega 3 supplement come in a tablet?
     A. Perhaps you may be able to find an omega3 tablet, but in my experience, I have mostly come across softgels.

Q. Do omega-3 fatty acids have the same attributes for kids (6 to 12 years old) as they are thought to have for adults? If so is dosage information available for youths?
   A. Long chained omega-3 fatty acids would also be beneficial in children if their diet does not include enough cold water fish. The dosage would be about a third or half of an adult's dosage.

What do you think of an Omega 3 - 6 - 9 product?
    Most Americans consume too much omega 6, I don't see the need to add omega 6 as a supplement.

What percentage of of Omega-3 gets absorbed to be delivered to the brain? I mean through supplements containing Omega-3 fatty acids. Do these fatty acids easily cross the blood-brain barrier like prescription medications do?
    I don't know exactly what percentage gets absorbed, I would suspect a wide degree of individual differences, but, as a general rule, their absorption into brain tissue is quite good.

I have heard that Omega-3 fish oil is good for raising serotonin levels. I have been taking 3 grams per day for about 2 weeks now. What product(s) are best for raising serotonin levels, and are they compatible with Omega-3s?
    5HTP and tryptophan are the most consistent products over the counter for raising serotonin levels.

Omega 3 Industry News
Cognis has acquired Napro Pharma AS, a Norwegian manufacturer of omega-3 fish oils for the nutrition industry. The Napro Pharma product portfolio further strengthens Cognis' Nutrition & Health Strategic Business Unit as a supplier of natural-source ingredients sold worldwide for the dietary supplement and functional food markets.

2009 - The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) and a consortium of eight leading scientific, trade, and consumer advocacy organizations have petitioned the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene an expert panel to establish clear dietary reference intakes (DRIs) for the EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Industry support is urgently needed to (1) provide comments of support for the initiative and (2) encourage legislators to fund the IOM review. GOED believes newly established DRIs would have a profound effect on both the industry and consumers. “Omega-3s are one of the fastest growing and largest segments of the food and supplement business, which is why this issue impacts every company within this sector,” said Adam Ismail, Executive Director of GOED. “In the past decade or so, research on omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA in particular, has evolved to suggest we may be facing a serious public health problem. Most Americans appear to be falling short in their consumption of EPA and DHA, which studies show are important for cardiovascular health and brain development,” added Andrew Shao, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition, and a cosigner of the petition. A in the April issue of PLoS Medicine identified EPA and DHA inadequacy as the 6th leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Andrew Shao states, “Taking a simple EPA and DHA-containing product could help fill the nutrition gaps, but until DRIs are established both policy makers and consumers have no way of knowing what the target intakes should be and by how much they’re falling short. By not acting on this important initiative, we place the health of Americans and Canadians at risk.”