EPA and DHA, along with sodium, magnesium and vitamin E have been selected as top priority nutrients for Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) reviews, according to updates from the U.S. and Canadian governments. These nutrients were selected as top priorities by both countries “based on public health and/or policy importance.”
GOED nominated EPA and DHA for review last year after the two countries announced the opening of a process to determine future DRI reviews. Following the closing (July 31, 2013) of the nomination process, nutrient assessment working groups were formed comprising staff from both countries. Each group was tasked with evaluating whether there was new science published since the last DRI review that would be relevant to the development of a new DRI review.
Government agencies jointly prioritized the nutrients and decided that a workshop on the potential use of chronic disease endpoints in setting DRI values was needed before a DRI review would be undertaken. That workshop is being planned for 2015 to address whether, and how, chronic disease outcomes can be incorporated into setting DRI values. This, in turn, would lay the foundation for an expert report on this aspect of public health.
GOED assumes that once the expert report is released that a decision will be made concerning which nutrient(s) to review first. While this likely means DRIs for EPA and DHA will be delayed another year, it is still a positive sign that omega-3s were one of the four nutrients selected out of the 16 nutrients nominated.