Dietary sources of omega 3 fatty acids: public health risks and benefits

Br J Nutr. 2012 Jun;107 Suppl 2:S23-52. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001456.


Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained from several sources, and should be added to the daily diet to enjoy a good health and to prevent many diseases. Worldwide, general population use omega-3 fatty acid supplements and enriched foods to get and maintain adequate amounts of these fatty acids. The aim of this paper was to review main scientific evidence regarding the public health risks and benefits of the dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. A systematic literature search was performed, and one hundred and forty-five articles were included in the results for their methodological quality. The literature described benefits and risks of algal, fish oil, plant, enriched dairy products, animal-derived food, krill oil, and seal oil omega-3 fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3* / adverse effects
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3* / therapeutic use
  • Fish Oils
  • Food, Fortified
  • Humans
  • Plant Oils
  • Public Health*
  • Risk
  • Risk Assessment


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils
  • Plant Oils