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Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women

Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women
Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women
The extent to which women of reproductive age are able to convert the n-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALNA) to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was investigated in vivo by measuring the concentrations of labelled fatty acids in plasma for 21 d following the ingestion of [U-13C]ALNA (700 mg). [13C]ALNA excursion was greatest in cholesteryl ester (CE) (224 (sem 70) micromol/l over 21 d) compared with triacylglycerol (9-fold), non-esterified fatty acids (37-fold) and phosphatidylcholine (PC, 7-fold). EPA excursion was similar in both PC (42 (sem 8) micromol/l) and CE (42 (sem 9) micromol/l) over 21 d. In contrast both [13C]DPA and [13C]DHA were detected predominately in PC (18 (sem 4) and 27 (sem 7) micromol/l over 21 d, respectively). Estimated net fractional ALNA inter-conversion was EPA 21 %, DPA 6 % and DHA 9 %. Approximately 22 % of administered [13C]ALNA was recovered as 13CO2 on breath over the first 24 h of the study. These results suggest differential partitioning of ALNA, EPA and DHA between plasma lipid classes, which may facilitate targeting of individual n-3 fatty acids to specific tissues. Comparison with previous studies suggests that women may possess a greater capacity for ALNA conversion than men. Such metabolic capacity may be important for meeting the demands of the fetus and neonate for DHA during pregnancy and lactation. Differences in DHA status between women both in the non-pregnant state and in pregnancy may reflect variations in metabolic capacity for DHA synthesis.
0007-1145
411-420
Burdge, G. C.
09d60a07-8ca1-4351-9bf1-de6ffcfb2159
Wootton, S. A.
bf47ef35-0b33-4edb-a2b0-ceda5c475c0c
Burdge, G. C.
09d60a07-8ca1-4351-9bf1-de6ffcfb2159
Wootton, S. A.
bf47ef35-0b33-4edb-a2b0-ceda5c475c0c

Burdge, G. C. and Wootton, S. A. (2002) Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women. British Journal of Nutrition, 88 (4), 411-420. (doi:10.1079/BJN2002689).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The extent to which women of reproductive age are able to convert the n-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALNA) to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was investigated in vivo by measuring the concentrations of labelled fatty acids in plasma for 21 d following the ingestion of [U-13C]ALNA (700 mg). [13C]ALNA excursion was greatest in cholesteryl ester (CE) (224 (sem 70) micromol/l over 21 d) compared with triacylglycerol (9-fold), non-esterified fatty acids (37-fold) and phosphatidylcholine (PC, 7-fold). EPA excursion was similar in both PC (42 (sem 8) micromol/l) and CE (42 (sem 9) micromol/l) over 21 d. In contrast both [13C]DPA and [13C]DHA were detected predominately in PC (18 (sem 4) and 27 (sem 7) micromol/l over 21 d, respectively). Estimated net fractional ALNA inter-conversion was EPA 21 %, DPA 6 % and DHA 9 %. Approximately 22 % of administered [13C]ALNA was recovered as 13CO2 on breath over the first 24 h of the study. These results suggest differential partitioning of ALNA, EPA and DHA between plasma lipid classes, which may facilitate targeting of individual n-3 fatty acids to specific tissues. Comparison with previous studies suggests that women may possess a greater capacity for ALNA conversion than men. Such metabolic capacity may be important for meeting the demands of the fetus and neonate for DHA during pregnancy and lactation. Differences in DHA status between women both in the non-pregnant state and in pregnancy may reflect variations in metabolic capacity for DHA synthesis.

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Published date: 2002

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 25285
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/25285
ISSN: 0007-1145
PURE UUID: 9b7125ab-ecfb-4987-bb6c-053286b105d0
ORCID for G. C. Burdge: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7665-2967

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Date deposited: 07 Apr 2006
Last modified: 15 Sep 2021 01:37

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Author: G. C. Burdge ORCID iD
Author: S. A. Wootton

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