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Awareness of Omega-3 Benefits Soars
Date:7/26/2012

ST. LOUIS, July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More Americans than ever consider omega-3s "healthy." The number of consumers who perceive omega-3 as a healthy fatty acid rose five points to 84 percent, according to the United Soybean Board's (USB) 19th annual Consumer Attitudes about Nutrition survey (vs. 79 percent in 2011). "Omega-3 continues to be the only fat consumers perceive as more healthy than unhealthy," says Lisa Kelly, MPH, RD, for the United Soybean Board.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120726/SF45932)

While fish oil is the preferred source of omega-3s because of the bioavailability of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in soybean oil is one of the few non-fish sources and the principal source of omega-3s in the American diet. The American Heart Association says consumers should get ALA from sources such as soybean oils. Relatively low in saturated fat and containing zero grams trans fat, soybean oil is also the primary commercial source of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant against a number of cancers, heart disease, cataracts, premature aging and arthritis.

"With Americans not consuming as much fish as dietitians would like, soybean oil has always been the primary source of omega-3s in their diet, but it is a less bioavailable omega-3 (ALA)," notes Kelly. She adds, "What's really exciting to me is that soybeans producing an excellent source of omega-3s (primarily EPA) are about to hit the marketplace."

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SOURCE United Soybean Board
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