This paper presents a systematic review of human studies investigating the effect of altering dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-6 PUFA) linoleic acid (LA) intakes on n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) status in adult humans. The results suggest that it is possible to increase n-3 LCPUFA status by reducing LA and/or increasing ALA intake in humans, although decreasing LA intake to below 2.5%E may be required to specifically increase levels of the n-3 LCPUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The majority of studies in this area to date have been relatively poor in quality, which limits the ability to draw robust conclusions, and we present a series of recommendations to improve the quality of future studies in fatty acid nutrition in humans.
Keywords: ALA; DHA; Diet; EPA; Human; LA.
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