Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Health Benefits and Dietary Recommendations


Task Force Chair

Donald Beitz

Task Force Author(s)

William Banz
Tom Brenna
Philip Calder

Task Force Reviewers

Ronald Hardy
Artemis P. Simopoulos

Task Force Contributors

Sandeep Bhale
Emma Derbyshire
Deborah Diersen-Schade
Daniel Goldstein
Carrie Ruxton
Jay Whelan
Special Publications
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This publication presents a robust narrative on the family of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids—a narrative that not only includes their biochemistry, but also encompasses potential health effects, dietary sources, recommended intakes, and federal regulations regarding health and nutrient claims—so readers can make informed decisions on if and how they can better incorporate these nutrients in promoting a healthier lifestyle. Project Manager/Lead Author: Don Beitz, Iowa State University. SP32, May 2018, 50 pp. $20.00 U.S. (plus shipping).

This one-page Ag quickCAST contains excerpted materials from SP32.

ORDERING: CAST members receive free download access and may request one free printed copy + $10 S&H. CAST nonmembers may receive downloads for $10 and printed copies for $20 + $10 S&H. Quantity discounts are offered for purchases of 6+ copies of the same publication sent to a single address. Orders of 6 through 99 copies are discounted 25% from listed prices. Orders of 100 or more copies are discounted 35%.  Please contact the CAST office to place a discounted order.

LINK TO PRESENTATION (Dr. Beitz presented highlights at the American Society of Oil Chemists Annual Meeting, May 8, 2018)


Table of Contents

Interpretive Summary, 1
1. Introduction, 2
2. Nomenclature/Interconversions, 4
     Interconversion of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, 5
3. Traditional Dietary Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, 7
4. Biological Significance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, 9
5. Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Inflammation, and the Brain, 10
     Introduction, 10
     Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease, 10
     Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cancer, 12
     Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammation, 13
     Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the Brain, 14
     Conclusions, 16
6. Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices to Increase Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Human Food Supply, 17
     Introduction, 17
     Plant-derived Foods, 18
     Poultry-, Livestock-, and Marine-derived Foods, 20
          Poultry, 20
          Livestock, 21
          Fish, 21
     Conclusion, 22
7. Guidelines for Labeling Related to Omega-3 Fatty Acids, 23
     Introduction, 23
     Health Claims, 23
     Nutrient Content Claims, 24
     Structure/Function Claims, 25
     Labeling of Meat and Poultry Products, 25
8. Conclusions, 26
Appendix A: Abbreviations and Acronyms, 27
Appendix B: Glossary, 28
Literature Cited, 29
Index, 37


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