PUFA for human health: Diet or supplementation?

P. Abete, G. Testa, G. Galizia, D. Della-Morte, F. Cacciatore, F. Rengo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Large doses of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are used to treat several diseases including hypertriglyceridemia in humans. Modest levels of EPA and DHA may be obtained from food, particularly from fatty fish. This review presents the literature examining the differences between omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplementation and prescribed omega-3-acid ethyl esters (P-OM3). Reports published between 1995 and 2007 containing sources, recommended intake, and differences in the various formulations of omega-3 fatty acids were sought in PubMed and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Websites. However, lack of head-to-head clinical trials using both P-OM3 and dietary-supplement omega-3 fatty acids is the greatest limitation of this review. Although many kinds of omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplements are available, the efficacy, quality, and safety of these products are questionable because they are beyond any pharmaceutical control. Thus, P-OM3 is the only FDA approved omega-3 fatty acid product which is available in the United States as an adjunct to diet to improve human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4186-4190
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Diet
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Supplementation
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


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