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Omega-3 map (most of the world has low levels) – May 2016

Global survey of the omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in the blood stream of healthy adults

Progress in Lipid Research, doi:10.1016/j.plipres.2016.05.001
Ken D. Stark a, kstark at uwaterloo.ca, , Mary E. Van Elswyk b, , M. Roberta Higgins c, , Charli A. Weatherford d, , Norman Salem Jr. e,
Map by DSM, and augmented by VitaminDWiki
Omega 3 Index Map VDW 7552
Map in the PDF

Studies reporting blood levels of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), were systematically identified in order to create a global map identifying countries and regions with different blood levels. Included studies were those of healthy adults, published in 1980 or later. A total of 298 studies met all inclusion criteria. Studies reported fatty acids in various blood fractions including plasma total lipids (33.0%), plasma phospholipid (32%), erythrocytes (32%) and whole blood (3.0%). Fatty acid data from each blood fraction were converted to relative weight percentages (wt.%) and then assigned to one of four discrete ranges (high, moderate, low, very low) corresponding to wt.% EPA + DHA in erythrocyte equivalents.
Regions with high EPA + DHA blood levels (> 8%) included the

  • Sea of Japan,
  • Scandinavia, and
  • areas with indigenous populations or populations not fully adapted to Westernized food habits.

Very low blood levels (= 4%) were observed in

  • North America,
  • Central and South America,
  • Europe,
  • the Middle East,
  • Southeast Asia, and
  • Africa.

The present review reveals considerable variability in blood levels of EPA + DHA and the very low to low range of blood EPA + DHA for most of the world may increase global risk for chronic disease.

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29 citations of this study as of Aug 2017

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
8321 Omega-3 map.jpg admin 20 Aug, 2017 11:26 71.40 Kb 1308
8320 Omega-3 map.pdf PDF 2016 admin 20 Aug, 2017 11:26 1.75 Mb 818