FatsofLife.com, which was originally started as a newsletter, has been published for more than 20 years, originally through the work of Roche Vitamins Limited, now DSM Nutritional Products. The PUFA Newsletter was established in 1996 by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd. Its first editor and writer was James Magee from MeDev Medical Service, Nyon, Switzerland. In the early 90s the Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division of Roche, based on its conviction that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were quasi-essential, vitamin-like nutrients, decided to develop and add PUFAs to its portfolio of nutritional vitamins. In 1994, Reto Muggli, DSc became the director of the project “Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids,” and was responsible for R&D, product development and global marketing. At that time PUFAs were not widely recognized, the science of PUFAs was still in its infancy, and PUFA supplements were marketed with unsubstantiated claims. Dr. Muggli decided to launch a generic marketing campaign. One of the tools was the PUFA Newsletter. The newsletter contained summaries of recent research (click here to visit the Archives) on EPA and DHA, as well as guest articles and Invited Opinions by prominent researchers. The work was vetted by a scientific advisory board of experts.
The newsletter was distributed in print free of charge to health practitioners, nutritionists, supplement and food manufacturers, health authorities, medical and science writers and others.
The newsletter received financial support from F. Hoffmann-La Roche but was editorially independent. From the outset, a science advisory board assured the scientific quality and credibility. The board members were all renowned academics in the field of PUFA with expertise in major PUFA-related health issues such as cardiovascular health, infant nutrition, inflammation, eye health, and mental health.
The PUFA Newsletter was launched in electronic format in Spring 2003, with Joyce Nettleton, DSc, RD as editor and writer.
In December 2003, DSM Nutritional Products, Inc. took over the support of the PUFA Newsletter following its acquisition of Roche Vitamins. A consumer-oriented newsletter, Fats of Life, based on its more technical sibling, PUFA Newsletter, was launched in 2006 and discontinued at the end of 2012.
In 2014, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) assumed support of the PUFA Newsletter and Fats of Life website. The consumer-oriented Fats of Life was never reinstated, and the PUFA newsletter, In 2017, was rebranded as the Fats of Life newsletter containing summaries of recent studies on omega-3 LCPUFA. Gerard Bannenberg, PhD, GOED’s current Director of Technical Compliance and Outreach, became the new editor and writer.
By 2018, the clinical, nutritional and basic research on EPA and DHA was growing at an enormous rate and few platforms were able to distill the new scientific information on omega-3s into a summarized format. At this time, GOED discontinued the Fats of Life newsletter and refocused Fats of Life towards a broader platform for information on omega-3s for health care practitioners. All past Fats of Life and PUFA Newsletter issues and guest articles can be found on the current Fats of Life website. Consumer-oriented information on omega-3 LCPUFA can be found on another GOED-supported platform, AlwaysOmega3s.