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The healthiest omega-3s, EPA and DHA, are found mainly in fish oil and fishmeal

IFFO, has brought together information about the benefits to man and farmed animals of these healthy omega-3s from fish oil and fishmeal in a short guide, available in both Spanish and English

January 15, 2009


The healthiest omega-3s, EPA and DHA, are found mainly in fish oil and fishmeal

Everyone wants a piece of the omega-3 action. In 2007 1400 learned papers were published on the health benefits of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids. Globally sales of omega-3 fish oil as a human health product have risen from 20,000 tonnes in 2000 to nearly 80,000 tonnes in 2008.

Yet how many know that fish oil is the source of 97% of global supplies of the healthy long chain (LC) omega-3s, EPA and DHA?

Now the fish oil and fishmeal trade association, IFFO,  has brought together information about the benefits to man and farmed animals of these healthy omega-3s from fish oil and fishmeal in a short attractive guide, available in both Spanish and English.

“This easy-to-read guide will give our Members and the whole value chain an excellent tool for selling fish oil and explaining its exceptional benefits to customers, commentators and critics,” said IFFO Director General, Jonathan Shepherd.

“It describes why EPA and DHA are essential in the human diet, explains how western diets have become deficient in LC omega-3s, lists the specific health benefits to humans, farmed fish and farm animals and explains why shorter-chain omega-3s from plants do not offer the same health benefits.

The guide is focused on eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA 20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA 22:6n-3),  the two main long chain (LC) highly unsaturated fatty acids, or HUFAS in the omega-3 series. They are found most widely in the marine environment where they are produced by algae, particularly in cold waters. The algae are eaten by zooplankton, and the zooplankton by fish and on up the food-chain. At each stage these HUFAs are retained and utilised for their properties. Fish oil is high in EPA and DHA and fishmeal usually contains 6% to 10% fish oil.

The guide, titled The healthiest omega-3s, EPA and DHA, are found mainly in fish oil and fishmeal, is supported by a referenced paper, The Importance of increasing dietary levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids in both animals and humans by Dr Andrew Jackson and Anne Chamberlain and published as an IFFO Datasheet – www.iffo.net under Datasheets/publications

Hard copies of the Guide, The healthiest omega-3s, EPA and DHA, are found mainly in fish oil and fishmeal, are available from IFFO by emailing secretariat@iffo.net.

Up to three copies can be ordered free of charge, additional copies will cost US$1.50 each.

The guide is also published as pdf on the IFFO website at www.iffo.net under Datasheets/ publications or download the English edition from the link below:

the-healthiest-omega-3s-epa-and-dha-are-found-mainly-in-fish-oil-and-fishmeal

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