Omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acid has been widely recognized as essential for human health. Its first popularity was related to its cardio-protective or inflammation-fighting properties and hence reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer, such as prostate cancer in men. More recent studies have shown that diets high in ω-3 fatty acids may protect people from cognitive decline and dementia; however, further studies of longer duration are required.

How much… The recommended daily intake for men (19 years and older) is 1.6 grams.

Sources… For an ω-3 rich diet, aim for at least 2 servings of fish and seafood per week. Other sources include certain oils (canola, soybean), nuts and seeds (walnuts, flaxseed) and soy products.

Further studies… To determine ω-3 optimal dosage in those at risk (e.g. cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer) or for the treatment of medical conditions (e.g. atherosclerosis, arrhythmia). For instance, higher doses of ω-3 may be required as a component of the management of high triglycerides level, which was tested in supplement form with 2 – 4 g/d.

By Ms. Ayla Coussa

Clinical Dietitian