Supply situation

Surveys in several European countries reported average intakes of total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) ranging from 3 –7% of the total daily energy intake (206).In many countries the average PUFA intake was below 6%, the lower limit of the WHO recommendations (125).

In general, dietary intakes of omega-6 PUFA are well above the recommendations defined, while the intakes of long-chain omega-3 PUFA, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are mostly lower than recommended by national authorities.

Dietary surveys in the U.S. indicate that the average adult intake of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid (LA) ranges from 12–17 g/day for men and 9–11 g/day for women (1).

Average adult intakes for omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is 2.09 g/day for men and from 1.59 g/day for women (339).

The average adult intakes of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) range from 0.04–0.07 g/day, and average adult intakes of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) range from 0.05–0.09 g/day.


Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Karin Yurko-Mauro on 12.05.2017.