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Metabolism of alpha-linolenic acid in humans

Record type: Article

Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) is essential in the human diet, probably because it is the substrate for the synthesis of longer-chain, more unsaturated n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) which are required for tissue function. This article reviews the recent literature on 18:3n-3 metabolism in humans, including fatty acid beta-oxidation, recycling of carbon by fatty acid synthesis de novo and conversion to longer-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). In men, stable isotope tracer studies and studies in which volunteers increased their consumption of 18:3n-3 show conversion to 20:5n-3 and 22:5n-3, but limited conversion to 22:6n-3. However, conversion to 18:3n-3 to 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 is greater in women compared to men, due possibly to a regulatory effect of oestrogen, while partitioning of 18:3n-3 towards beta-oxidation and carbon recycling was lower than in men. These gender differences may be an important consideration in making dietary recommendations for n-3 PUFA intake.

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Citation

Burdge, G.C. (2006) Metabolism of alpha-linolenic acid in humans Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 75, (3), pp. 161-168. (doi:10.1016/j.plefa.2006.05.013).

More information

Published date: September 2006
Additional Information: Proceedings of the 7th Fatty Acid and Cell Signaling (FACS)workshop held in Paris on September 28-30, 2005.

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 60941
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/60941
PURE UUID: 22de1df4-abd9-4410-8d86-e30e6288fa72
ORCID for G.C. Burdge: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7665-2967

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Sep 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:22

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