The health effects of dietary unsaturated fatty acids Briefing PaperIn September 2006 BNF published a new Briefing Paper on The health effects of dietary unsaturated fatty acids.

The paper begins by introducing fatty acids, with more detail on unsaturated fatty acids; their structure and configurations, focusing on n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and their metabolism pathways. The paper then considers intakes of unsaturated fatty acids in the UK, their sources and the unsaturated fatty acid composition of a number of commonly eaten food products. This is followed by dietary recommendations for fat in the UK.

The paper summarises the evidence for the relationship between unsaturated fatty acids, health and disease. The diseases include cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and the health issues include inflammatory conditions, fetal and infant development, cognitive function and behaviour.

Finally, the paper considers the public health implications of fatty acids, including food labelling, UK recommendations and opportunities to increase population intakes of n-3 fatty acids.

For more information, a summary and the paperĀ are attached below.