|Fish consumption is a safe solution to increase the intake of long-chain n-3 fatty acids|Sioen, I.; De Henauw, S.; Verbeke, W.; Verdonck, F.; Willems, J.L.; Van Camp, J. (2008). Fish consumption is a safe solution to increase the intake of long-chain n-3 fatty acids. Public health nutr. (Wallingford) 11(11): 1107-1116. hdl.handle.net/10.1017/S1368980007001450
In: Public Health Nutrition. Cambridge University Press: London. ISSN 1368-9800, more
Fish consumption; Dietary recommendations; Dioxin-like compounds; Methylmercury; n-3 fatty acids
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Objectives Dietary intake of long-chain (LC) n-3 PUFA in developed countries is low compared with recommendations. Fish is naturally rich in LC n-3 PUFA, but is also a dietary source of heavy metals and organic pollutants. We investigated whether the recommendation for LC n-3 PUFA could be reached through fish consumption, without exceeding the provisional tolerable weekly intake of methylmercury (MeHg) and the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of dioxin-like compounds. Also, the contribution of margarines enriched with LC n-3 PUFA was assessed.
Design Published nutrient and contaminant data were used in a probabilistic model to calculate the simultaneous nutrient and contaminant intake for different fish consumption scenarios.
Results The Belgian recommendation for EPA + DHA (0·3 % of total energy intake) can be reached by consuming fatty fish a minimum of twice a week, or by varying between lean and fatty fish a minimum of three times a week. At this fish consumption level, MeHg intake is not an issue of toxicological concern. The intake of dioxin-like compounds approximates the TWI when consuming fatty fish more than twice a week, this being a potential toxicological risk because other food items also contribute to the weekly intake of dioxin-like compounds. Use of margarine enriched with LC n-3 PUFA can help to increase LC n-3 intake, on average by 159 mg/d.
Conclusions Combination of regular fish consumption (twice a week) with important contribution of fatty fish species, in combination with regular consumption of margarine enriched with EPA + DHA, can be advised to achieve the recommendation for LC n-3 intake.