Global survey of the omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in the blood stream of healthy adults
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Studies reporting blood levels of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), were systematically identified in order to create a global map identifying countries and regions with different blood levels. Included studies were those of healthy adults, published in 1980 or later. A total of 298 studies met all inclusion criteria. Studies reported fatty acids in various blood fractions including plasma total lipids (33%), plasma phospholipid (32%), erythrocytes (32%) and whole blood (3.0%). Fatty acid data from each blood fraction were converted to relative weight percentages (wt.%) and then assigned to one of four discrete ranges (high, moderate, low, very low) corresponding to wt.% EPA + DHA in erythrocyte equivalents. Regions with high EPA + DHA blood levels (>8%) included the Sea of Japan, Scandinavia, and areas with indigenous populations or populations not fully adapted to Westernized food habits. Very low blood levels (<= 4%) were observed in North America, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The present review reveals considerable variability in blood levels of EPA + DHA and the very low to low range of blood EPA + DHA for most of the world may increase global risk for chronic disease. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license.
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Ken Stark, Mary E. Van Elswyk, M. Roberta Higgins, Charli A. Weatherford, Norman, Jr. Salem (2016). Global survey of the omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in the blood stream of healthy adults. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12647