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オメガ3脂肪酸の健康食品・サプリメントとしての実態と利用法

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  • オメガ 3 シボウサン ノ ケンコウ ショクヒン ・ サプリメント ト シテ ノ ジッタイ ト リヨウホウ
  • Utilization of Health Food and Dietary Supplement Containing Omega 3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

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Abstract

Omega 3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids such as α-linolenic acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) show many beneficial effects for human health. However, omega 6 (n-6) fatty acids such as linoleic acid and arachidonic acid have the physiological effects opposite to omega 3 fatty acids. Therefore the essential fatty acid balance (n-6/n-3 ratio) is an important factor to evaluate the nutritional effect of dietary fats and oils. In this study, we collected health foods and dietary supplements containing omega 3 fatty acid and analyzed fatty acid composition and essential fatty acid n-6/n-3 balance. Approximately 200 kinds of products were available at the local market and we classified these products in four types (capsule type, drink type, edible oil type, and natural food type). The omega 3 fatty acid contents were high and omega 6 contents were low in the capsule type (DHA/EPA type). On the other hand, the omega 6 contents were high and omega 3 contents were low in the capsule type (other ingredients mixture/other fatty acids mixture type). The drink type showed effective fatty acid balances, but the absolute contents of omega 3 were low. The products except the perilla oil in the edible oil type had higher amount of omega 6 fatty acids. The levels of DHA and EPA were relatively low and the levels of omega 6 fatty acids such as linoleic acid were high in the natural food type (DHA/EPA type). In contrast, contents of linoleic acid were relatively low and contents of α-linolenic acid were high in the food type (α-linolenic acid type). The n-6/n-3 ratio of the Japanese average meal was 4.942. Essential fatty acid balance was improved most effectively using the products in the capsule type (DHA/EPA type).

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