Simulated changes in fatty acid intake in humans through n-3 fatty acid enrichment of foods from animal origin
De Henauw, Stefaan × Van Camp, John Sturtewagen, Geert Matthys, Christophe Bilau, Maaike Warnants, Nathalie Raes, Katleen Van Oeckel, Monique De Srnet, Stefaan #
Blackwell Scientific Publ.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture vol:87 issue:2 pages:200-211
The ratio of n-6 over n-3 fatty acids (FA) in the Western diet is today on average between 10 and 15, while evidence suggests that humans would benefit substantially from a more balanced intake. Different strategies to reverse this trend can potentially be adopted. This paper explores the effect of n-3 enrichment at the level of primary animal production on human FA intake. Consumption data from adolescents were linked to 'currently available' and to simulated 'enriched' FA profiles of foods from animal origin (by feeding alpha-linolenic-rich diets to pigs, dairy and beef cattle, and broiler and layer chickens). Under enriched conditions, population intakes for alpha-linolenic acid and for aft n-3 FA shifted to recommended values. For long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated FA, the favourable trend in intake was not sufficient to meet recommendations. The effect on other FA was small. The n-6/n-3 ratio decreased considerably from an average value of 6.6 to 4.6. It is concluded that feasible and realistic n-3 FA enrichments of foods from animal origin can add substantially to the overall efforts for reducing the n-6/n-3 intake ratio in the population. However, foods rich in long-chain n-3 FA remain essential in the human diet under such conditions. (c) 2006 Society of Chemical Industry