Omega3 and other polyunsaturated fatty acids in functional food products

Functional foods are food products that have beneficial effects on physiology and/or have the ability to reduce the risk of a disease. Functional foods may be conventional food or foods that have been enriched with functional components to provide greater health benefits, but they do not include purified substances provided in pills or capsules. Since omega-3 PUFAs have been shown to have beneficial effects in several health conditions they are considered to be a functional food. The positive effects of omega-3 PUFAs in different diseases have been established and these fatty acids have been particularly interesting in coronary heart disease but also in several other conditions such as arteriosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and asthma (de Lorgeril et al., 1994; Simopoulos, 1999; Ruxton et al., 2004; Nettleton and Katz, 2005). The beneficial effects of omega-3 PUFAs on health have resulted in the production of dietary supplements becoming a large industry. There is also a large and growing market for producing functional foods enriched in omega-3 PUFAs, such as omega-3-enriched eggs or omega-3 PUFA-supplemented margarine. For example, in Sweden a dairy product company has produced a margarine containing 40% fat and consisting of butter, rapeseed oil and fish oil. Several companies have specialised in extracting omega-3 PUFAs from fish to provide omega-3-enriched fish oil to be used for the production of functional foods. Fish oil was earlier considered difficult to include in cooking or as a supplement in foods since it has a peculiar smell and taste. However, with today's techniques it is possible to produce fish oil extracts without this problem, making it easier to produce food products enriched with these fatty acids.

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Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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