Burdge, G.C. and Wootton, S.A.
Conversion of ?-linolenic acid to palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic and oleic acids in men and women
Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 69, (4), . (doi:10.1016/S0952-3278(03)00111-X).
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether adult humans can recycle carbon from ?-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) into saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated (MUFA) fatty acids. Six men and six women consumed 700 mg [U-13C]-18:3n-3. Blood was collected over 21 days and breath over 24 h. [13C]-labelled SFA and MUFA were detected in plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC) and triacylglycerol (TAG). Total labelled fatty acid incorporation into SFA and MUFA was five- and 25-fold greater in PC than TAG in men and women, respectively. [13C]-16:0 was the major labelled fatty acid in both fractions. Total [13C] incorporation into SFA and MUFA was 20% greater in men than women, and related positively (r2=0.35,P<0.05) to the fractional recovery of labelled 18:3n-3 as 13CO2 on breath. These results suggest that the extent of partitioning towards ?-oxidation and carbon recycling may regulate the availability of 18:3n-3 for conversion to longer-chain fatty acids.
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