Administration seeks public input on fatty acids

Administration seeks public input on fatty acids
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The Obama administration wants to know more about omega-3 fatty acids.

The Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is asking the public to provide scientific information on whether consuming fatty acids reduces a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, and how fatty acids impact the health of pregnant women and their unborn children.

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HHS wants to know if fatty acids — found in fish, vegetable oils, nuts, flaxseed and leafy vegetables — lead to preeclampsia, premature births or postnatal depression.

The agency is also looking to determine if fatty acids are consumed by babies through breast milk or formula, what impact they have on growth patterns, neurological development, visual function, cognitive development, autism learning disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, allergies and respiratory illness.

Known as the essential fats that the body must get from food, omega-3s provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, inflammation, and bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Omega-3s have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stoke. The public has 30 days to submit their information to HHS.