Future research needs

Future research needs to focus on long-term epidemiologic studies on the effects of diets supplemented with EPA, DHA, and a-linolenic acid, compared to ro-6 fatty acids diets, and their outcome in autoimmune and chronic diseases. It is suggested that future research in the area of ro-3 and ro-6 fatty acids and physical performance should focus on large long-term controlled intervention studies to assess the effects and probably benefits of long-term supplementation in athletes. It is also suggested that studies of the effects of supplemental doses on physical performance need to be evaluated with caution, as adverse effects have been reported for these polyunsat-urated fatty acids. Recently, adequate intakes for a-linolenic and linoleic acids have been set for a healthy population, as there is not enough evidence to set an RDA; therefore, the need for well-designed studies in the field of exercise and physical performance is critical to further assess the effect of inadequate or toxic intakes on athletes. It is recommended that older and female athletes be included to examine the effect of age and gender, as most of the studies have included only young males.

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