Fatty Acid Metabolism

Fatty Acid Metabolism

The two families of essential fatty acids give rise to separate sets of LCPs, and there is no interconversion between families. If an excess of omega-6s exist, for example, the excess cannot be converted into omega-3s. Furthermore, the same set of enzymes must convert both linoleic (omega-6) and linolenic (omega-3) fatty acids into their respective LCPs. If more dietary omega-6s than omega-3s are available, the enzymes will generate more gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (AA). If the diet is high in saturated fats and low in oils--that is, high in animal fat, butter, margarine and other hydrogenated fats--more AA will be directly produced, bypassing GLA and DGLA formation. This can have serious consequences for immune and cardiovascular function.




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