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Micronutrient Information Center

References: Essential Fatty Acids


1.  Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Fats: Total Fat and Fatty Acids. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press; 2002:422-541 (National Academy Press)

2.  Lichtenstein A, Jones PJ. Lipids: Absorption and Transport. In: Erdman JWJ, Macdonald IA, Zeisel SH, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 10th ed: ILSI Wiley-Blackwell; 2012:118-131.

3.  Davidson MH. Omega-3 fatty acids: new insights into the pharmacology and biology of docosahexaenoic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2013;24(6):467-474.  (PubMed)

4.  Nakamura MT, Nara TY. Structure, function, and dietary regulation of delta6, delta5, and delta9 desaturases. Annu Rev Nutr. 2004;24:345-376.  (PubMed)

5.  Jump DB, Depner CM, Tripathy S. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and cardiovascular disease. J Lipid Res. 2012;53(12):2525-2545.  (PubMed)

6.  Burdge GC, Jones AE, Wootton SA. Eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids are the principal products of alpha-linolenic acid metabolism in young men*. Br J Nutr. 2002;88(4):355-364.  (PubMed)

7.  Burdge GC, Wootton SA. Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women. Br J Nutr. 2002;88(4):411-420.  (PubMed)

8.  Burdge G. Alpha-linolenic acid metabolism in men and women: nutritional and biological implications. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004;7(2):137-144.  (PubMed)

9.  Giltay EJ, Gooren LJ, Toorians AW, Katan MB, Zock PL. Docosahexaenoic acid concentrations are higher in women than in men because of estrogenic effects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(5):1167-1174.  (PubMed)

10.  Cho HP, Nakamura M, Clarke SD. Cloning, expression, and fatty acid regulation of the human delta-5 desaturase. J Biol Chem. 1999;274(52):37335-37339.  (PubMed)

11.  Ameur A, Enroth S, Johansson A, et al. Genetic adaptation of fatty-acid metabolism: a human-specific haplotype increasing the biosynthesis of long-chain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Am J Hum Genet. 2012;90(5):809-820.  (PubMed)

12.  Brossard N, Croset M, Pachiaudi C, Riou JP, Tayot JL, Lagarde M. Retroconversion and metabolism of [13C]22:6n-3 in humans and rats after intake of a single dose of [13C]22:6n-3-triacylglycerols. Am J Clin Nutr. 1996;64(4):577-586.  (PubMed)

13.  Conquer JA, Holub BJ. Dietary docosahexaenoic acid as a source of eicosapentaenoic acid in vegetarians and omnivores. Lipids. 1997;32(3):341-345.  (PubMed)

14.  Stillwell W, Wassall SR. Docosahexaenoic acid: membrane properties of a unique fatty acid. Chem Phys Lipids. 2003;126(1):1-27.  (PubMed)

15.  Calder PC. n-3 fatty acids, inflammation and immunity: new mechanisms to explain old actions. Proc Nutr Soc. 2013;72(3):326-336.  (PubMed)

16.  Calder PC. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory processes: New twists in an old tale. Biochimie. 2009;91(6):791-795.  (PubMed)

17.  Harris WS, Sands SA, Windsor SL, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids in cardiac biopsies from heart transplantation patients: correlation with erythrocytes and response to supplementation. Circulation. 2004;110(12):1645-1649.  (PubMed)

18.  Jeffrey BG, Weisingerb HS, Neuringer M, Mitcheli DC. The role of docosahexaenoic acid in retinal function. Lipids. 2001;36(9):859-871.  (PubMed)

19.  SanGiovanni JP, Chew EY. The role of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in health and disease of the retina. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2005;24(1):87-138.  (PubMed)

20.  Innis SM. Dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain. Brain Res. 2008;1237:35-43.  (PubMed)

21.  Chalon S, Vancassel S, Zimmer L, Guilloteau D, Durand G. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and cerebral function: focus on monoaminergic neurotransmission. Lipids. 2001;36(9):937-944.  (PubMed)

22.  AOCS. The AOCS Lipid Library. June 30, 2014. Available at: http://lipidlibrary.aocs.org/. Accessed 4/25/14.

23.  Flock MR, Harris WS, Kris-Etherton PM. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids: time to establish a dietary reference intake. Nutr Rev. 2013;71(10):692-707.  (PubMed)

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26.  Nicolaou A, Mauro C, Urquhart P, Marelli-Berg F. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Derived Lipid Mediators and T Cell Function. Front Immunol. 2014;5:75.  (PubMed)

27.  Price PT, Nelson CM, Clarke SD. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid regulation of gene expression. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2000;11(1):3-7.  (PubMed)

28.  Calder PC. Dietary modification of inflammation with lipids. Proc Nutr Soc. 2002;61(3):345-358.  (PubMed)

29.  Sampath H, Ntambi JM. Polyunsaturated fatty acid regulation of gene expression. Nutr Rev. 2004;62(9):333-339.  (PubMed)

30.   Jump DB, Tripathy S, Depner CM. Fatty acid-regulated transcription factors in the liver. Annu Rev Nutr. 2013;33:249-269. (PubMed)

31.  Jeppesen PB, Hoy CE, Mortensen PB. Essential fatty acid deficiency in patients receiving home parenteral nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998;68(1):126-133.  (PubMed)

32.  Smit EN, Muskiet FA, Boersma ER. The possible role of essential fatty acids in the pathophysiology of malnutrition: a review. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004;71(4):241-250.  (PubMed)

33.  Mascioli EA, Lopes SM, Champagne C, Driscoll DF. Essential fatty acid deficiency and home total parenteral nutrition patients. Nutrition. 1996;12(4):245-249.  (PubMed)

34.  Stegink LD, Freeman JB, Wispe J, Connor WE. Absence of the biochemical symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency in surgical patients undergoing protein sparing therapy. Am J Clin Nutr. 1977;30(3):388-393.  (PubMed)

35.  Jeppesen PB, Hoy CE, Mortensen PB. Deficiencies of essential fatty acids, vitamin A and E and changes in plasma lipoproteins in patients with reduced fat absorption or intestinal failure. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000;54(8):632-642.  (PubMed)

36.  Lepage G, Levy E, Ronco N, Smith L, Galeano N, Roy CC. Direct transesterification of plasma fatty acids for the diagnosis of essential fatty acid deficiency in cystic fibrosis. J Lipid Res. 1989;30(10):1483-1490.  (PubMed)

37.  Holman RT, Johnson SB, Hatch TF. A case of human linolenic acid deficiency involving neurological abnormalities. Am J Clin Nutr. 1982;35(3):617-623.  (PubMed)

38.  Fedorova I, Hussein N, Baumann MH, Di Martino C, Salem N, Jr. An n-3 fatty acid deficiency impairs rat spatial learning in the Barnes maze. Behav Neurosci. 2009;123(1):196-205.  (PubMed)

39.  Fedorova I, Salem N, Jr. Omega-3 fatty acids and rodent behavior. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2006;75(4-5):271-289.  (PubMed)

40.  Harris WS, Von Schacky C. The Omega-3 Index: a new risk factor for death from coronary heart disease? Prev Med. 2004;39(1):212-220.  (PubMed)

41.  Metcalf RG, James MJ, Gibson RA, et al. Effects of fish-oil supplementation on myocardial fatty acids in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(5):1222-1228.  (PubMed)

42.  Owen AJ, Peter-Przyborowska BA, Hoy AJ, McLennan PL. Dietary fish oil dose- and time-response effects on cardiac phospholipid fatty acid composition. Lipids. 2004;39(10):955-961.  (PubMed)

43.  von Schacky C. Omega-3 index and cardiovascular health. Nutrients. 2014;6(2):799-814.  (PubMed)

44.  Harris WS. The omega-3 index as a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(6):1997S-2002S.  (PubMed)

45.  Flock MR, Skulas-Ray AC, Harris WS, Etherton TD, Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM. Determinants of erythrocyte omega-3 fatty acid content in response to fish oil supplementation: a dose-response randomized controlled trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2013;2(6):e000513.  (PubMed)

46.  Harris WS, Pottala JV, Varvel SA, Borowski JJ, Ward JN, McConnell JP. Erythrocyte omega-3 fatty acids increase and linoleic acid decreases with age: observations from 160,000 patients. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013;88(4):257-263.  (PubMed)

47.  Guesnet P, Alessandri JM. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the developing central nervous system (CNS) - Implications for dietary recommendations. Biochimie. 2011;93(1):7-12.  (PubMed)

48.  Gibson RA, Kneebone GM. Fatty acid composition of human colostrum and mature breast milk. Am J Clin Nutr. 1981;34(2):252-257.  (PubMed)

49.  Larque E, Demmelmair H, Koletzko B. Perinatal supply and metabolism of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: importance for the early development of the nervous system. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002;967:299-310.  (PubMed)

50.  Simmer K, Patole S. Longchain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in preterm infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004(1):CD000375.  (PubMed)

51.  Simmer K. Longchain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in infants born at term. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001(4):CD000376.  (PubMed)

52.  Qawasmi A, Landeros-Weisenberger A, Leckman JF, Bloch MH. Meta-analysis of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation of formula and infant cognition. Pediatrics. 2012;129(6):1141-1149.  (PubMed)

53.  Qawasmi A, Landeros-Weisenberger A, Bloch MH. Meta-analysis of LCPUFA supplementation of infant formula and visual acuity. Pediatrics. 2013;131(1):e262-272.  (PubMed)

54.  Gould JF, Smithers LG, Makrides M. The effect of maternal omega-3 (n-3) LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy on early childhood cognitive and visual development: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(3):531-544.  (PubMed)

55.  Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB. Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits. JAMA. 2006;296(15):1885-1899.  (PubMed)

56.  Onwude JL, Lilford RJ, Hjartardottir H, Staines A, Tuffnell D. A randomised double blind placebo controlled trial of fish oil in high risk pregnancy. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1995;102(2):95-100.  (PubMed)

57.  Olsen SF, Sorensen JD, Secher NJ, et al. Randomised controlled trial of effect of fish-oil supplementation on pregnancy duration. Lancet. 1992;339(8800):1003-1007.  (PubMed)

58.  Smuts CM, Huang M, Mundy D, Plasse T, Major S, Carlson SE. A randomized trial of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2003;101(3):469-479.  (PubMed)

59.  Szajewska H, Horvath A, Koletzko B. Effect of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation of women with low-risk pregnancies on pregnancy outcomes and growth measures at birth: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(6):1337-1344.  (PubMed)

60.  Horvath A, Koletzko B, Szajewska H. Effect of supplementation of women in high-risk pregnancies with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on pregnancy outcomes and growth measures at birth: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Br J Nutr. 2007;98(2):253-259.  (PubMed)

61.  Larque E, Gil-Sanchez A, Prieto-Sanchez MT, Koletzko B. Omega 3 fatty acids, gestation and pregnancy outcomes. Br J Nutr. 2012;107 Suppl 2:S77-84.  (PubMed)

62.  European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies (NDA) Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for fats, including saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, and cholesterol. EFSA J. 2010;8(3):107. Available at: http://www.efsa.europa.eu

63.  US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Nutrient Intakes from Food: Mean Amounts Consumed per Individual, by Gender and Age. Available at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/fsrg. Accessed 4/25/14.

64.  Harris WS, Mozaffarian D, Rimm E, et al. Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Risk for Cardiovascular Disease: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association Nutrition Subcommittee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism; Council on Cardiovascular Nursing; and Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. Circulation. 2009;119(6):902-7.  (PubMed)

65.  Kris-Etherton P, Fleming J, Harris WS. The debate about n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid recommendations for cardiovascular health. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(2):201-204.  (PubMed)

66.  Jakobsen MU, O'Reilly EJ, Heitmann BL, et al. Major types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of 11 cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(5):1425-1432.  (PubMed)

67.  Mozaffarian D, Micha R, Wallace S. Effects on coronary heart disease of increasing polyunsaturated fat in place of saturated fat: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS Med. 2010;7(3):e1000252.  (PubMed)

68.  Sacks FM, Katan M. Randomized clinical trials on the effects of dietary fat and carbohydrate on plasma lipoproteins and cardiovascular disease. Am J Med. 2002;113 Suppl 9B:13S-24S.  (PubMed)

69.  Kris-Etherton PM, Hecker KD, Binkoski AE. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular health. Nutr Rev. 2004;62(11):414-426.  (PubMed)

70.  Mensink RP, Katan MB. Effect of dietary fatty acids on serum lipids and lipoproteins. A meta-analysis of 27 trials. Arterioscler Thromb. 1992;12(8):911-919.  (PubMed)

71.  Fernandez ML, West KL. Mechanisms by which dietary fatty acids modulate plasma lipids. J Nutr. 2005;135(9):2075-2078.  (PubMed)

72.  Pan A, Chen M, Chowdhury R, et al. Alpha-linolenic acid and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;96(6):1262-1273.  (PubMed)

73.  Wendland E, Farmer A, Glasziou P, Neil A. Effect of alpha linolenic acid on cardiovascular risk markers: a systematic review. Heart. 2006;92(2):166-169.  (PubMed)

74.  Bemelmans WJ, Lefrandt JD, Feskens EJ, et al. Increased alpha-linolenic acid intake lowers C-reactive protein, but has no effect on markers of atherosclerosis. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004;58(7):1083-1089.  (PubMed)

75.  Rallidis LS, Paschos G, Liakos GK, Velissaridou AH, Anastasiadis G, Zampelas A. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid decreases C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A and interleukin-6 in dyslipidaemic patients. Atherosclerosis. 2003;167(2):237-242.  (PubMed)

76.  Zhao G, Etherton TD, Martin KR, West SG, Gillies PJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory and lipid cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men and women. J Nutr. 2004;134(11):2991-2997.  (PubMed)

77.  Mozaffarian D, Wu JH. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: effects on risk factors, molecular pathways, and clinical events. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;58(20):2047-2067.  (PubMed)

78.  Hooper L, Thompson RL, Harrison RA, et al. Risks and benefits of omega 3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review. BMJ. 2006;332(7544):752-760.  (PubMed)

79.  Rizos EC, Ntzani EE, Bika E, Kostapanos MS, Elisaf MS. Association between omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and risk of major cardiovascular disease events: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. 2012;308(10):1024-1033.  (PubMed)

80.  Rangel-Huerta OD, Aguilera CM, Mesa MD, Gil A. Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation on inflammatory biomakers: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. Br J Nutr. 2012;107 Suppl 2:S159-170.  (PubMed)

81.  Mozaffarian D, Lemaitre RN, King IB, et al. Plasma phospholipid long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and total and cause-specific mortality in older adults: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(7):515-525.  (PubMed)

82.  Zheng J, Huang T, Yu Y, Hu X, Yang B, Li D. Fish consumption and CHD mortality: an updated meta-analysis of seventeen cohort studies. Public Health Nutr. 2012;15(4):725-737.  (PubMed)

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