Fat and Fatty Acid Terminology, Methods of Analysis and Fat Digestion and Metabolism: A Background Review Paper

Nutrition Research Division, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 2.62). 09/2009; 55(1-3):8-43. DOI: 10.1159/000228994
Source: PubMed
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Available from: Claudio Galli, Jan 05, 2016
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    • "Preclinical studies have shown that removing ω-3 LC-PUFAs from the diet can result in cognitive deficits, such as impairments in attention and learning ability (Bourre et al., 1989; Carrié et al., 2000; Catalan et al., 2002; Greiner et al., 1999; Reisbick et al., 1997). Therefore, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that ω-3 LC-PUFAs may also play an important role in human brain development and function (Gorjão et al., 2009; Ratnayake and Galli, 2009; Singh, 2005). As such, they are also being investigated as a potential alternative or supplemental treatment for various brain disorders. "
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    ABSTRACT: Public opinion and media coverage suggest that there are benefits of long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) intake on brain functioning. However, it is an open question whether this is indeed the case. Therefore, we reviewed the evidence for effects of ω-3 LC-PUFA on human brain morphology and function. We included studies on (1) naturalistic long-term ω-3 LC-PUFA intake during life (2) the effects of short-term ω-3 LC-PUFA supplementation in healthy subjects and (3) the effects of ω-3 LC-PUFA supplementation as alternative or add-on treatment for psychiatric or neurological disorders. To date, 24 studies have been published on the effect of ω-3 LC-PUFA on brain function and structure. Findings from naturalistic studies and clinical trials in healthy individuals indicate that ω-3 LC-PUFA intake may be associated with increased functional activation of the prefrontal cortex in children, and greater gray matter volume and white matter integrity during aging. However, most naturalistic studies were cross-sectional or did not find any effect on cognition. As such, it is hard to estimate the magnitude of any beneficial effects. Furthermore, there is only limited evidence to support that ω-3 LC-PUFA supplementation is beneficial in brain disorders, such as Alzheimer׳s Disease, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and schizophrenia. Overall, the literature suggests that sensitivity to supplementation may vary over development, and as a consequence of brain disorders. The biological mechanisms underlying any (beneficial) effects ω-3 LC-PUFAs on the brain are currently unknown and need to be investigated.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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    • "The recommended n-6:n-3 ratio ranges from 1:1 to 4:1 in order to avoid adverse effects on metabolism. However, the Western diets provide ratios of between 10:1 and 20:1, and there are reports of 50:1 (Ratnayake & Galli, 2009). "

    Full-text · Dataset · May 2015
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    • "Fatty acids consist of an unbranched hydrocarbon chain containing a terminal carboxylic acid (Figure 2a) [20]. Fatty acids are classified according to the number of double bonds that the hydrocarbon chain contains: saturated fatty acids are straight molecules with no double bonds, unsaturated fatty acids contain one (monounsaturated) or several (polyunsaturated, PUFA) double bonds and are flexible around the double bond positions (Figure 2b) [2]. Omega‐3 (n‐3) PUFAs have their first double bond positioned 3 carbon atoms from the methyl end, while n‐6 PUFAs have their first double bond positioned 6 carbon atoms from the methyl end (Figure 3). "
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    ABSTRACT: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential for human cell and tissue development. In foetus, PUFAs are supplied via placental transfer from maternal circulation. After birth, PUFAs are supplied via the diet. Long chain PUFAs (LCPUFAs) may also be synthesized from precursor fatty acids present in the diet. LCPUFAs have modulatory effects on the immune system. As maturation of the immune system in the neonatal period appears to be crucial for protection against allergy development, a major aim of the study was to study the impact of fatty acid composition in infant blood at birth on allergy development. Secondly, we sought to elucidate the sources of infant LCPUFAs with focus on polymorphisms in genes responsible for production of LCPUFAs in the body from shorter dietary fatty acids. Third, we studied whether LCPUFA and vitamin D metabolism differed in allergic and non-allergic adolescents. High proportions of either n-6 or n-3 LCPUFAs, among cord serum phospholipids were positively associated with the risk of developing either respiratory allergy, or atopic eczema, diagnosed at 13 years of age. We hypothesized that LCPUFAs counteract activation of the infant’s immune system in response to microbial stimuli in early life, thereby hampering the proper immune maturation necessary for healthy immune development. Regarding determinants of cord serum LCPUFA composition, we found that single nucleotide polymorphisms in the FADS gene cluster affected the proportion of the main n-6 LCPUFA, arachidonic acid, in cord serum as well as in adolescent serum. FADS gene polymorphisms that were associated with decreased proportions of arachidonic acid were also associated with a low prevalence of atopic eczema. Increased proportions of the n-3 LCPUFAs DPA and DHA in cord serum phospholipids were instead related to increased length of pregnancy. Adolescents with established allergy did not differ from non-allergic controls regarding proportions of LCPUFAs in serum phospholipids. Nor did they differ in vitamin D status. Proportions of n-3 LCPUFA in serum reflected dietary intake of fish in non-allergic adolescents, but not in adolescents with atopic eczema. The results may suggest that subjects with atopic eczema have a different LCPUFA metabolism, maybe because of enhanced usage of LCPUFAs during the allergic inflammation. In conclusion, the results suggest that LCPUFA metabolism may affects the risk of allergy development and may also be altered as a result of the allergic state. The lack of relation between allergy and vitamin D status in adolescents does not exclude that neonatal vitamin D status may affect allergy development.
    Full-text · Thesis · Apr 2015
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