Assessing the environment for regulatory change for eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid nutrition labeling

Amy M. Brownawell, William Harris, Joseph R. Hibbeln, David M. Klurfeld, Ian Newton, Allison Yates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


This review examines issues related to the development of a recommended daily allowance or adequate intake, two of the categories of dietary reference intakes, for the long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 n-3), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 n-3). Although some have suggested a dietary intake of two servings of fatty fish perweek or supplement intake of 500 mg/day EPA plus DHA, based on evidence from epidemiologic and clinical studies of cardiovascular benefit from regular fish or fish-oil consumption, supplementation with EPA and/or DHA may also have antidepressant and mood-stabilizing effects. Omega-3 PUFA biology is complex and chronic disease outcomes are sometimes difficult to prove, yet the possibility of benefit for a substantial portion of the population from increased omega-3 PUFA intake is a public health issue that must be addressed responsibly and be based on significant scientific evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-397
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition Reviews
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Dietary reference intake (DRI)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Mood-stabilizing effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this