Expert Opinion on Benefits of Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA and EPA) in Aging and Clinical Nutrition

Barbara Troesch, Manfred Eggersdorfer, Alessandro Laviano, Yves Rolland, A. David Smith, Ines Warnke, Arved Weimann, Philip C. Calder*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    28 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Life expectancy is increasing and so is the prevalence of age-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Consequently, older people and patients present with multi-morbidities and more complex needs, putting significant pressure on healthcare systems. Effective nutrition interventions could be an important tool to address patient needs, improve clinical outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. Inflammation plays a central role in NCDs, so targeting it is relevant to disease prevention and treatment. The long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 LCPUFAs) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are known to reduce inflammation and promote its resolution, suggesting a beneficial role in various therapeutic areas. An expert group reviewed the data on omega-3 LCPUFAs in specific patient populations and medical conditions. Evidence for benefits in cognitive health, age- and disease-related decline in muscle mass, cancer treatment, surgical patients and critical illness was identified. Use of DHA and EPA in some conditions is already included in some relevant guidelines. However, it is important to note that data on the effects of omega-3 LCPUFAs are still inconsistent in many areas (e.g., cognitive decline) due to a range of factors that vary amongst the trials performed to date; these factors include dose, timing and duration; baseline omega-3 LCPUFA status; and intake of other nutrients. Well-designed intervention studies are required to optimize the effects of DHA and EPA in specific patient populations and to develop more personalized strategies for their use.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2555
    Number of pages25
    JournalNutrients
    Volume12
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep-2020

    Keywords

    • clinical nutrition
    • oral nutritional supplementation
    • DHA and EPA
    • long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
    • inflammation
    • Alzheimer's disease
    • immunonutrition
    • frailty
    • sarcopenia
    • cancer cachexia
    • GAMMA-LINOLENIC ACID
    • POLYUNSATURATED FATTY-ACIDS
    • RESPIRATORY-DISTRESS-SYNDROME
    • CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM
    • ACUTE LUNG INJURY
    • EICOSAPENTAENOIC ACID
    • CANCER CACHEXIA
    • FISH-OIL
    • COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT
    • DOCOSAHEXAENOIC ACID

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