During the past 15 years, evidence has accumulated for the nutritional esÂ sentiality of n-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (18: 3n-W and its I Fatty acid nomenclature: the first number indicates the length of the carbon chain; the second number (following the colon) specifies the number of double bonds; the third number, after n- (or omega-), gives the number of carbons from the first double bond to the methyl end. AbbreviaÂ tions: DHA = = docosahexaenoic acid, 22: 6n-3; EPA = = eicosapentaenoic acid, 20: 5n-3; 18: 2n-6 = linoleic acid; 18:3n-3 linolenic acid; 20:4n-6 arachidonic acid. 517 0199-9885/88/0715-0517$02.00 NEURINGER, ANDERSON & CONNOR longer-chain derivatives. In the past,n-3 fatty acids were included as essential fatty acids only because of their very limited ability to ameliorate some of the classic symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency,such as dermatitis,growth retardation, and reproductive failure (80). All of these symptoms were comÂ pletely corrected by fatty acids of the n-6 series (linoleic and arachidonic acids), and so the role of the n-3 series was seen, at best, as secondary. However,this viewpoint ignored the possibility that n-3 fatty acids have their own distinct role,as suggested by their special prominence in neural tissues.
Annual Review of Nutrition – Annual Reviews
Published: Jul 1, 1988
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