Recommended Intake of Fish and Fish Oils Worldwide

C. K. Richter, A. C. Skulas-Ray, P. M. Kris-Etherton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Scopus citations


There is substantial evidence that a higher intake of fish and/or long-chain (LC) n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is associated with health benefits. Consequently, dietary recommendations for fish and/or LC n-3 PUFA have been issued by numerous expert authorities worldwide to promote health and reduce CVD risk. Oily fish are the primary dietary source of the LC n-3 PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, many commonly consumed fish contain relatively low concentrations of LC n-3 PUFA, and some may contain environmental toxins. A variety of LC n-3 PUFA supplements are widely available, including standard fish body oils, omega-3 fatty acid concentrates, and pharmaceutical preparations (ie, Epanova, Lovaza, and VascEPA). Supplements contain varying amounts of EPA and DHA, do not contain any contaminants, and may be more suitable for some populations. Although fish and fish oil are the main source of LC n-3 PUFA, there are other dietary sources and supplements that may become increasingly important contributors to LC n-3 PUFA intake. In addition to recommendations for the general population, specific life stages (ie, pregnant and/or lactating women) and populations (ie, vegetarians) have unique LC n-3 PUFA needs that should be taken into consideration. Emerging evidence has indicated that a third LC n-3 PUFA species-docosapentaenoic acid (DPA, 22:5n3)-may contribute to the beneficial health effects previously attributed solely to EPA and DHA. While few populations consume recommended amounts of LC n-3 PUFA, the sustainability of fish and fish oil is a major concern. To ensure the continued availability of LC n-3 PUFA needed to meet recommended intakes, sustainable fishery and aquaculture practices will be crucial, and alternative sources of LC n-3 PUFA will likely need to be further developed and commercialized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFish and Fish Oil in Health and Disease Prevention
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780128028445
StatePublished - Jul 27 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Health Professions
  • General Medicine


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