Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Their Health Benefits

Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2018 Mar 25;9:345-381. doi: 10.1146/annurev-food-111317-095850.

Abstract

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) include α-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3 ω-3), stearidonic acid (SDA; 18:4 ω-3), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5 ω-3), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA; 22:5 ω-3), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6 ω-3). In the past few decades, many epidemiological studies have been conducted on the myriad health benefits of omega-3 PUFAs. In this review, we summarized the structural features, properties, dietary sources, metabolism, and bioavailability of omega-3 PUFAs and their effects on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, depression, visual and neurological development, and maternal and child health. Even though many health benefits of omega-3 PUFAs have been reported in the literature, there are also some controversies about their efficacy and certain benefits to human health.

Keywords: bioavailability; cardiovascular disease; fish oil; health benefits; metabolism; omega-3.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Biological Availability
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacokinetics
  • Fish Oils / metabolism
  • Food
  • Functional Food
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Preventive Medicine

Substances

  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils