Natural Foods Merchandiser

FDA Approves Health Claim for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Citing ?supportive but not conclusive research,? the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September approved a qualified health claim for foods and dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids. Foods that contain eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid may carry labels saying that ?consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.?

Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, lake trout and herring typically have high levels of omega-3s.

?Coronary heart disease is a significant health problem that causes 500,000 deaths annually in the United States,? said Lester M. Crawford, acting FDA commissioner. ?This new qualified health claim ? should help consumers as they work to improve their health.?

While some researchers have recommended dosages as high as 10 grams per day for people with inflammatory health conditions, the FDA recommends that people not exceed 3 grams daily, with no more than 2 grams per day from dietary supplements.

Walnuts are the only other food the FDA has approved to carry a qualified health claim.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 10/p. 18

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