Most children and adults have low omega-3 levels, says recent study

A recent study found that most adults and children have low serum levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Pharmavite conducted the cross-sectional study, analyzing U.S. population data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2012 to determine serum long chain omega-3 fatty acids

A recent study published in BMJ Open found that most adults and children have low serum levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Pharmavite conducted the cross-sectional study, analyzing U.S. population data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2012 to determine serum long chain omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Results showed that 95.5% of children and 68.35% of adults age 20 and older had long-chain omega-3 concentrations below 2.49%, corresponding to intake of omega-3s recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The majority of adults (97%) had DHA concentrations below 2.85%, which is associated with 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 were in the intermediate risk category, and just 1% of adults were in the low-risk category.

“Low serum levels confirm that omega-3 fatty acid intakes fall short for most Americans, particularly young children, and it reveals that more work is needed in educating the public about the important role EPA, DPA, and DHA play in supporting human health,” said Susan Mitmesser, PhD, vice president, science and technology, Pharmavite, in a press release. “Healthy habits formed early in development inform and pave a healthy path later in life, so it’s critical that in addition to sleep and physical activity, young children have access to foods rich in essential nutrients including omega-3s.”