Omega-3 fatty acid

related topics
{disease, patient, cell}
{acid, form, water}
{food, make, wine}
{rate, high, increase}
{work, book, publish}
{woman, child, man}

n−3 fatty acids (popularly referred to as ω−3 fatty acids or omega-3 fatty acids) are a family of unsaturated fatty acids that have in common a final carbon–carbon double bond in the n−3 position; that is, the third bond from the methyl end of the fatty acid.

Nutritionally important n−3 fatty acids include α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), all of which are polyunsaturated. The human body cannot synthesize n−3 fatty acids de novo, but it can form "long chain" 20-carbon unsaturated n−3 fatty acids (like EPA) and 22-carbon unsaturated n−3 fatty acids (like DHA) from the "short chain" eighteen-carbon n−3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid. The short chain n−3 fatty acids are converted to long chain forms (EPA, DHA) with an efficiency of approximately 5%[1][2] in men, and at a greater percentage in women.[3]

These conversions occur competitively with n−6 fatty acids, which are essential closely related chemical analogues that are derived from linoleic acid. Both the n−3 α-linolenic acid and n−6 linoleic acid must be obtained from food. Synthesis of the longer n−3 fatty acids from linolenic acid within the body is competitively slowed by the n−6 analogues. Thus accumulation of long-chain n−3 fatty acids in tissues is more effective when they are obtained directly from food or when competing amounts of n−6 analogs do not greatly exceed the amounts of n−3.[citation needed]

Contents

Full article ▸

related documents
Lysergic acid diethylamide
Tocopherol
Testosterone
Vitamin D
Epilepsy
Sleep
Menopause
Drug addiction
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
Inflammation
Cerebellum
Sudden infant death syndrome
Reelin
Methadone
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Electroconvulsive therapy
Acne vulgaris
Hormone
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine
Angiogenesis
Syringomyelia
Gene therapy
Hypertension
Psoriasis
Coronary artery disease
Modafinil
Morphine
Chemotherapy
Addiction
Combined oral contraceptive pill