Considerations for Incorporating Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Omega-3 Fatty Acids into the Military Food Supply Chain

By: Ismail A, Rice HB
Publication Name: Military Medicine
Year: 2014

The U.S. military may consider exploring the inclusion of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in the diets of active duty military personnel. To be successful, certain challenges must be overcome including determining appropriate dosage, ensuring cost efficiency, and optimizing stability. To increase EPA and DHA intake, the military should consider using one of three strategies, including mandates or recommendations on omega-3 supplement usage, contracts to purchase commercially available foods for distribution in the food supply chain, or direct addition of EPA and DHA into currently consumed foods. This review presents the challenges and strategies and provides potential suggestions to the military to increase the likelihood of success.