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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Call for Government Review of EPA and DHA Dietary Recommendations

By Michael McBurney

With the US federal government shut down, it is probably not a good time to propose new governmental activities. However, Flock and colleagues recommend that a Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) be established for the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The authors review current recommendations for n-3 PUFA intakes:



EPA and DHA recommendations

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


≥500 mg/d

American Heart Association

Adults without CHD

Patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)

Patients with high triglycerides

~500 mg/d

~1000 mg/d

2-4 g/d

US Department of Agriculture


≥250 mg/d

International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids


Pregnant/lactating women

≥500 mg/d

≥500 mg/d with ≥300 mg DHA/d

European Food Safety Agency


Pregnant/lactating women

≥250 mg/d

≥250 mg/d with 100-200 mg DHA/d

World Health Organization


≥250 mg/d

Although you may not be able access the April 30, 2013  Federal Register 2013 ‘Announcement of Opportunity and Procedure to Submit Nominations for Nutrients of Interest for Dietary Reference Intake Reviews’ because of the appropriations lapse, the Department of Health and Human Service has expressed interest in reviewing nutrients. [The announcement can be accessed via our Aug 17, 2013 post ‘Compelling Reasons to Study Vitamin E Status’.

Let’s hope that the US government is back in business soon.

Main citation

Flock MR, Harris WS, Kris-Etherton PM. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids: time to establish a dietary reference intake. 2013 Nutr Rev doi:10.1111/nure.12071