US - A new study published in Lipid Technology highlights the potential positive impact of consumption of oil derived from menhaden, a US-caught fish high in the omega-3s EPA and DHA, on public health across the country.
Medical expenditures in the US are the highest in the world, and cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality, costing more than $444 billion each year in direct and indirect costs.
The consumption of 1000 mg per day of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids by the at-risk population - as recommended by the American Heart Association - may reduce the risk of a coronary heart disease (CHD) event and reduce nationwide healthcare costs by $1.7 billion.
This study determined that the current US menhaden oil supply, sustainably sourced entirely in US waters, could provide the recommended amount of EPA and DHA to all Americans over 55 with CHD.
Additionally, the excess menhaden oil could be used to supply the salmon farming industry, which in turn could help supply all pregnant and lactating women in the US with the recommended weekly servings of oily fish.
This is important due to the recent recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that pregnant and breastfeeding women eat 8-12 ounces of fish per week to support foetal neurodevelopment.
According to study author Douglas M. Bibus, PhD, of the University of Minnesota: "Consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids are principal tenants of public health recommendations in the US to promote positive health and development.
"Omega 3 deficiency is now recognised to affect the majority of US citizens and is classified as a preventable cause of disease and death."
He continued: "The present research highlights that people are not consuming adequate amounts of EPA and DHA, and normalising dietary intakes of omega 3 has the potential to significantly impact public health while reducing rising health care costs."
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