Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Health Impacts

In order to encourage discussions on “polyunsaturated fatty acids” and health, the Brazilian branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) promoted the XII International Workshop Series on Foods with Functional Properties and/or Health Claims (28-29 November 2013) which consolidated knowledge, presented scientific advances, and promoted exchange of experiences on “Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Health Impacts”. Various topics were addressed at this meeting including: nutritional needs and consumption issues; impact on chronic diseases: cardiovascular diseases and cancer; influence on gene expression; immunological system and inflammation; sources of these fatty acids; benefits during pregnancy and childhood; cost and benefit of supplementation; and regulations (legislation). In general terms, the event presented evidence of the benefit of polyunsaturated fatty acids on cardiovascular diseases, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and infant development, as well as possible influence on gene expression, contributing to their relationship with the immunological system and, therefore, inflammatory processes. The recommendations of consumption and/or supplementation with these fatty acids are specific to particular groups and still require further studies. With respect to regulations in terms of legislation, each country/authority recommends different content properties and/or health claims. The event generated prospects for research fields, development, and regulation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the scientific community and industries.

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