IOM Report on Macronutrients Misses the Mark on Omega-3 Fatty Acids
DC, 5 September 2002
Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) faulted a report released
today on Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for macronutrients as
"missing the mark on its recommendations for omega-3 fatty acids."
The report, issued by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the
Institute of Medicine (IOM), provided recommendations on ranges
of fat, carbohydrate and protein intake.
among the fatty acid recommendations are some specific values for
omega-3 fatty acids that are much lower than the levels found in
clinical trials to be beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease.
According to Annette Dickinson, PhD, vice president, scientific
and regulatory affairs, CRN, "The new IOM recommendations do not
provide an adequate target for increasing the intake of the long
chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, in order to help protect
against heart disease."
Dickinson pointed out that the IOM's recommendations are even lower
than the amount that would be obtained if people followed the American
Heart Association's (AHA) recommendation to consume two fish meals
per week for heart health.
fatty acids can be obtained from vegetable oils in the form of alpha-linolenic
acid and from marine sources as EPA and DHA. The IOM establishes
an Acceptable Intake level of 1.6 grams per day of alpha-linolenic
acid for men and 1.1 grams for women, and suggests that "EPA and
DHA can contribute up to 10 percent" of this total amount of omega-3
fatty acids. This establishes an unacceptably low target for intake
of EPA and DHA of only 160 and 110 mg per day.
new report recognizes that there is growing evidence that the long
chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA reduce the risk of coronary
heart disease. Eight separate mechanisms are outlined by which marine
sources of omega-3 fatty acids benefit heart health. The report
cites three controlled clinical trials that showed a heart benefit
using 1.5 grams per day of fish oil, 1 gram of EPA, or 850 mg per
day of combined EPA and DHA. Intakes in this range would represent
a more reasonable target for the American population than the very
low levels suggested by the IOM.
to Dr. William E. Connor of the Oregon Health Sciences University,
an internationally recognized expert on omega-3 fatty acids, EPA
and DHA "have immense public health significance for the control
of the current coronary epidemic." (2001, Am J Clin Nutr
more information on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and other
nutritional supplements, a new report by CRN, The Benefits of
Nutritional Supplements, is available on the CRN
Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)
is one of the dietary supplement industry's trade associations representing
ingredient suppliers and manufacturers. CRN members adhere to a
strong code of ethics, comply with dosage limits and manufacture
dietary supplements to high quality standards under good manufacturing
for Responsible Nutrition (CRN),
via PR Newswire.