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n-3 Fatty acid intake from marine food products among Quebecers: comparison to worldwide recommendations

  • Michel Lucas (a1) (a2), Geneviève Asselin (a1), Mélanie Plourde (a3), Stephen C Cunnane (a3), Éric Dewailly (a2) (a4) and Sylvie Dodin (a1) (a5)...
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To quantify marine food product consumption and EPA + DHA intake among Quebecers, and to compare the results with the most recent recommendations.

Design

Data were obtained from a representative cross-sectional telephone survey (June 2006). Intakes of marine food product species and EPA + DHA were estimated from a validated FFQ on the consumption of marine food products during the previous month. Prevalence of fish oil consumption in the last 6 months was also assessed.

Setting

Province of Quebec (Canada).

Subjects

A representative sample (n 1001) of adults in the province of Quebec. Of these, eight were excluded from the present analysis (n 993).

Results

Mean and median EPA + DHA intakes for all participants were estimated to be 291 mg/d (sem 11) and 207 mg/d, respectively. 85·0 % (95 % CI 82·7, 87·3) of Quebecers had an EPA + DHA intake lower than 500 mg/d, which is the amount internationally recommended for the prevention of CVD. Mean and median DHA intakes among women of childbearing age (n 128, 18–34 years) were estimated to be 169 mg/d (sem 17) and 126 mg/d, respectively. Of these women, 27·7 % had a daily intake >200 mg DHA and 15·9 % had an intake >300 mg DHA. We noted that 13 % of Quebecers take ≥1 capsule of fish oil/d.

Conclusions

Consumption of marine food products and EPA + DHA among Quebecers clearly appears to be lower than international recommendations. Since EPA + DHA confer health benefits and may reduce health costs, strategies to increase their consumption should be implemented to improve public health in Quebec.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email michel.lucas@crchul.ulaval.ca
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