Probiotics are novel functional ingredients that can be applied to influence the host’s
microbiota, playing an important role in the nutrition, development and health of the host. This
review presents the definitions of probiotics and summarizes the fields of their applications and
benefits, and highlights the need of more research to properly describe the severity of adverse
events related to probiotics. Research identifying the mechanisms of action for probiotic function
and the development of assays to measure them are greatly needed to better understand if
such changes have an essential impact on probiotic efficacy
For many years, both preclinical and clinical studies have provided evidences to support
the beneficial effects of ω-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly Eicosapentaenoic
acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the prevention of chronic diseases.
However, recently, an increasing number of studies reported adverse or contradictory effects
of ω-3 PUFAs on human health. While dose and experimental condition need to be considered
when evaluating these effects, oxidation of PUFAs also serves as an important factor contributing
to the inconsistent results. In fact, oxidation of PUFAs happens frequently during food processing
and storage, cooking and even after food ingestion. The free radicals and metabolites
generated from PUFA oxidation may adversely affect food quality and shelf life by producing
off-flavors and reducing nutritional values. The impact of PUFA oxidation in human health is
more complicated, depending on the concentration of products, disease background and targets.
This review will introduce different types of PUFA oxidation, discuss its impact on food quality
and human health and provide some thoughts for the future research directions.
Keywords: Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Oxidation; Food quality; Human health.