Recommendations of an Expert Panel on 5 central questions addressed during the workshop.

The Panel reviewed available scientific literature, workshop presentations, and comments from workshop guests.

The Panel unanimously agreed that a military Daily Recommended Intake for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) should be established within the context of lowering current intakes of omega-6 FAs.

The Panelists also felt that there was sufficient evidence to support increasing omega-3 intake to receive cardiovascular, immunological, and surgical benefits. In addition, research indicates that preloading with omega-3 FAs before combat exposure may be beneficial. Evidence for reduction of depressive symptoms and suicide prevention was felt to be strong.

Insufficient data were available to evaluate post-traumatic stress disorder and impulsive aggression. Benefits for traumatic brain injury were promising. Adverse side effects were deemed negligible.

The Panel concluded that based on studies analyzing omega-3 and omega-6 FA balance, it would be unethical to not attempt elevating the omega-3 status among U.S. military personnel.

PMID: 25373106