Fish oil supplementation has waxed and waned in popularity over the past decade. In the late 1990s when large clinical trials such as the GISSI study were published supporting the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil became one of the most sought after supplements.

However, due to fish oil's less than desirable taste characteristics, it was not well tolerated by even its most ardent supporters. Improved molecular distillation processing has helped to enhance fish oil's purity and flavor and there are now even more studies to support the benefits of fish oil supplementation that reach beyond heart health.

A recent symposium at Columbia University featured leaders in the field of omega (n)-3 fatty acid research. This article highlights information presented at the Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Recommendations for Therapeutics and Prevention Symposium, Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.

The goals of the symposium were to describe the functions of n-3 fatty acids (namely the long chain [LC] eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) C20:5n-3, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) C22:6n-3), raise awareness of the adverse impacts of inadequate n-3 fatty acid intake, and translate research findings related to LC n-3 fatty acids into strategies for improved health.

This symposium also provided an evidence-based foundation for possible Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations regarding n-3 fatty acids, and argued that n-3 fatty acids are "important from womb to tomb."

PMID 16614640

See following website for full manuscript