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Micronutrient Information Center

References: Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health


1.  Burr GO, Burr MM. A new deficiency disease produced by the rigid exclusion of fat from the diet. J Biol Chem. 1929;82:345-367.

2.  Burr GO, Burr MM. On the nature and role of the fatty acids essential in nutrition. J Biol Chem. 1930;86:587-621.

3.  Hansen AE, Haggard ME, Boelsche AN, Adam DJ, Wiese HF. Essential fatty acids in infant nutrition. III. Clinical manifestations of linoleic acid deficiency. J Nutr. 1958;66:565-576.  (PubMed)

4.  Prottey C, Hartop PJ, Press M. Correction of the cutaneous manifestations of essential fatty acid deficiency in man by application of sunflower-seed oil to the skin. J Invest Dermatol. 1975;64:228-234.  (PubMed)

5.  Ziboh VA, Chapkin RS. Metabolism and function of skin lipids. Prog Lipid Res. 1988;27:81-105.  (PubMed)

6.  Gray GM, Yardley HJ. Different populations of pig epidermal cells: isolation and lipid composition. J Lipid Res. 1975;16:441-447.  (PubMed)

7.  Wertz PW. Epidermal lipids. Semin Dermatol. 1992;11:106-113.  (PubMed)

8.  Feingold KR. The outer frontier: the importance of lipid metabolism in the skin. J Lipid Res. 2009;50 Suppl:S417-422.  (PubMed)

9.  Chapkin RS, Ziboh VA. Inability of skin enzyme preparations to biosynthesize arachidonic acid from linoleic acid. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1984;124:784-792.  (PubMed)

10.  Chapkin RS, Ziboh VA, Marcelo CL, Voorhees JJ. Metabolism of essential fatty acids by human epidermal enzyme preparations: evidence of chain elongation. J Lipid Res. 1986;27:945-954.  (PubMed)

11.  Gray GM, Yardley HJ. Lipid compositions of cells isolated from pig, human, and rat epidermis. J Lipid Res. 1975;16:434-440.  (PubMed)

12.  Hansen HS, Jensen B. Essential function of linoleic acid esterified in acylglucosylceramide and acylceramide in maintaining the epidermal water permeability barrier. Evidence from feeding studies with oleate, linoleate, arachidonate, columbinate and alpha-linolenate. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1985;834:357-363.  (PubMed)

13.  Chapkin RS, Ziboh VA, McCullough JL. Dietary influences of evening primrose and fish oil on the skin of essential fatty acid-deficient guinea pigs. J Nutr. 1987;117:1360-1370.  (PubMed)

14.  Ziboh VA, Chapkin RS. Biologic significance of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the skin. Arch Dermatol. 1987;123:1686a-1690.  (PubMed)

15.  Elias PM, Brown BE, Ziboh VA. The permeability barrier in essential fatty acid deficiency: evidence for a direct role for linoleic acid in barrier function. J Invest Dermatol. 1980;74:230-233.  (PubMed)

16.  Ziboh VA, Miller CC, Cho Y. Metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids by skin epidermal enzymes: generation of antiinflammatory and antiproliferative metabolites. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71:361S-366S.  (PubMed)

17.  McCusker MM, Grant-Kels JM. Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Clin Dermatol. 2010;28:440-451.  (PubMed)

18.  Rhodes LE, O'Farrell S, Jackson MJ, Friedmann PS. Dietary fish-oil supplementation in humans reduces UVB-erythemal sensitivity but increases epidermal lipid peroxidation. J Invest Dermatol. 1994;103:151-154.  (PubMed)

19.  Rhodes LE, Shahbakhti H, Azurdia RM, et al. Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans. An assessment of early genotoxic markers. Carcinogenesis. 2003;24:919-925.  (PubMed)

20.  Kragballe K, Pinnamaneni G, Desjarlais L, Duell EA, Voorhees JJ. Dermis-derived 15-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid inhibits epidermal 12-lipoxygenase activity. J Invest Dermatol. 1986;87:494-498.  (PubMed)

21.  Saiag P, Coulomb B, Lebreton C, Bell E, Dubertret L. Psoriatic fibroblasts induce hyperproliferation of normal keratinocytes in a skin equivalent model in vitro. Science. 1985;230:669-672.  (PubMed)

22.  Ziboh VA, Cho Y, Mani I, Xi S. Biological significance of essential fatty acids/prostanoids/lipoxygenase-derived monohydroxy fatty acids in the skin. Arch Pharm Res. 2002;25:747-758.  (PubMed)

23.  Lands WE. Biochemistry and physiology of n-3 fatty acids. Faseb J. 1992;6:2530-2536.  (PubMed)

24.  Hruza LL, Pentland AP. Mechanisms of UV-induced inflammation. J Invest Dermatol. 1993;100:35S-41S.  (PubMed)

25.  Ziboh VA. Prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and hydroxy fatty acids in epidermis. Semin Dermatol. 1992;11:114-120.  (PubMed)

26.  Yoo H, Jeon B, Jeon MS, Lee H, Kim TY. Reciprocal regulation of 12- and 15-lipoxygenases by UV-irradiation in human keratinocytes. FEBS Lett. 2008;582:3249-3253.  (PubMed)

27.  Rhodes LE, Gledhill K, Masoodi M, et al. The sunburn response in human skin is characterized by sequential eicosanoid profiles that may mediate its early and late phases. Faseb J. 2009;23:3947-3956.  (PubMed)

28.  Cho Y, Ziboh VA. Nutritional modulation of guinea pig skin hyperproliferation by essential fatty acid deficiency is associated with selective down regulation of protein kinase C-beta. J Nutr. 1995;125:2741-2750.  (PubMed)

29.  Miller CC, Tang W, Ziboh VA, Fletcher MP. Dietary supplementation with ethyl ester concentrates of fish oil (n-3) and borage oil (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids induces epidermal generation of local putative anti-inflammatory metabolites. J Invest Dermatol. 1991;96:98-103.  (PubMed)

30.  Miller CC, Ziboh VA, Wong T, Fletcher MP. Dietary supplementation with oils rich in (n-3) and (n-6) fatty acids influences in vivo levels of epidermal lipoxygenase products in guinea pigs. J Nutr. 1990;120:36-44.  (PubMed)

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

32.  Oikawa D, Nakanishi T, Nakamura Y, et al. Dietary CLA and DHA modify skin properties in mice. Lipids. 2003;38:609-614.  (PubMed)

33.  Fu Z, Sinclair AJ. Increased alpha-linolenic acid intake increases tissue alpha-linolenic acid content and apparent oxidation with little effect on tissue docosahexaenoic acid in the guinea pig. Lipids. 2000;35(4):395-400.  (PubMed)

34.  Fu Z, Sinclair AJ. Novel pathway of metabolism of alpha-linolenic acid in the guinea pig. Pediatric research. 2000;47(3):414-417.  (PubMed)

35.  Press M, Hartop PJ, Prottey C. Correction of essential fatty-acid deficiency in man by the cutaneous application of sunflower-seed oil. Lancet. 1974;1:597-598.  (PubMed)

36.  Bohles H, Bieber MA, Heird WC. Reversal of experimental essential fatty acid deficiency by cutaneous administration of safflower oil. Am J Clin Nutr. 1976;29:398-401.  (PubMed)

37.  Sinclair AJ, Attar-Bashi NM, Li D. What is the role of alpha-linolenic acid for mammals? Lipids. 2002;37:1113-1123.  (PubMed)

38.  Darmstadt GL, Mao-Qiang M, Chi E, et al. Impact of topical oils on the skin barrier: possible implications for neonatal health in developing countries. Acta Paediatr. 2002;91:546-554.  (PubMed)

39.  Miller CC, Ziboh VA. Induction of epidermal hyperproliferation by topical n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on guinea pig skin linked to decreased levels of 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (13-hode). J Invest Dermatol. 1990;94:353-358.  (PubMed)

40.  Pilkington SM, Watson RE, Nicolaou A, Rhodes LE. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: photoprotective macronutrients. Exp Dermatol. 2011;20:537-543.  (PubMed)

41.  Sies H, Stahl W. Nutritional protection against skin damage from sunlight. Annu Rev Nutr. 2004;24:173-200.  (PubMed)

42.  Bech-Thomsen N, Wulf HC. Sunbathers' application of sunscreen is probably inadequate to obtain the sun protection factor assigned to the preparation. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 1992;9:242-244.  (PubMed)

43.  Godar DE, Wengraitis SP, Shreffler J, Sliney DH. UV doses of Americans. Photochem Photobiol. 2001;73:621-629.  (PubMed)

44.  Orengo IF, Black HS, Wolf JE, Jr. Influence of fish oil supplementation on the minimal erythema dose in humans. Arch Dermatol Res. 1992;284:219-221.  (PubMed)

45.  Puglia C, Tropea S, Rizza L, Santagati NA, Bonina F. In vitro percutaneous absorption studies and in vivo evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of essential fatty acids (EFA) from fish oil extracts. Int J Pharm. 2005;299:41-48.  (PubMed)

46.  Jin XJ, Kim EJ, Oh IK, et al. Prevention of UV-induced skin damages by 11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid in hairless mice in vivo. J Korean Med Sci. 2010;25:930-937.  (PubMed)

47.  Takemura N, Takahashi K, Tanaka H, et al. Dietary, but not topical, alpha-linolenic acid suppresses UVB-induced skin injury in hairless mice when compared with linoleic acids. Photochem Photobiol. 2002;76:657-663.  (PubMed)

48.  James MJ, Gibson RA, Cleland LG. Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory mediator production. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71:343S-348S.  (PubMed)

49.  Shahbakhti H, Watson RE, Azurdia RM, et al. Influence of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, on ultraviolet-B generation of prostaglandin-E2 and proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1 beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 in human skin in vivo. Photochem Photobiol. 2004;80:231-235.  (PubMed)

50.  Boelsma E, Hendriks HF, Roza L. Nutritional skin care: health effects of micronutrients and fatty acids. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73:853-864.  (PubMed)

51.  Aubin F. Mechanisms involved in ultraviolet light-induced immunosuppression. Eur J Dermatol. 2003;13:515-523.  (PubMed)

52.  Moison RM, Steenvoorden DP, Beijersbergen van Henegouwen GM. Topically applied eicosapentaenoic acid protects against local immunosuppression induced by UVB irradiation, cis-urocanic acid and thymidine dinucleotides. Photochem Photobiol. 2001;73:64-70.  (PubMed)

53.  Moison RM, Beijersbergen Van Henegouwen GM. Dietary eicosapentaenoic acid prevents systemic immunosuppression in mice induced by UVB radiation. Radiat Res. 2001;156:36-44.  (PubMed)

54.  Gilchrest BA. Skin aging and photoaging: an overview. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1989;21:610-613.  (PubMed)

55.  Purba MB, Kouris-Blazos A, Wattanapenpaiboon N, et al. Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? J Am Coll Nutr. 2001;20:71-80.  (PubMed)

56.  Cosgrove MC, Franco OH, Granger SP, Murray PG, Mayes AE. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86:1225-1231.  (PubMed)

57.  Braverman IM, Fonferko E. Studies in cutaneous aging: I. The elastic fiber network. J Invest Dermatol. 1982;78:434-443.  (PubMed)

58.  Fisher GJ, Kang S, Varani J, et al. Mechanisms of photoaging and chronological skin aging. Arch Dermatol. 2002;138:1462-1470.  (PubMed)

59.  Kim HH, Shin CM, Park CH, et al. Eicosapentaenoic acid inhibits UV-induced MMP-1 expression in human dermal fibroblasts. J Lipid Res. 2005;46:1712-1720.  (PubMed)

60.  Kim HH, Cho S, Lee S, et al. Photoprotective and anti-skin-aging effects of eicosapentaenoic acid in human skin in vivo. J Lipid Res. 2006;47:921-930.  (PubMed)

61.  Ando H, Ryu A, Hashimoto A, Oka M, Ichihashi M. Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid lightens ultraviolet-induced hyperpigmentation of the skin. Arch Dermatol Res. 1998;290:375-381.  (PubMed)

62.  De Spirt S, Stahl W, Tronnier H, et al. Intervention with flaxseed and borage oil supplements modulates skin condition in women. Br J Nutr. 2009;101:440-445.  (PubMed)

63.  Muggli R. Systemic evening primrose oil improves the biophysical skin parameters of healthy adults. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2005;27:243-249.  (PubMed)

64.  Neukam K, De Spirt S, Stahl W, et al. Supplementation of flaxseed oil diminishes skin sensitivity and improves skin barrier function and condition. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2011;24:67-74.  (PubMed)

65.  Singer AJ, Clark RA. Cutaneous wound healing. N Engl J Med. 1999;341:738-746.  (PubMed)

66.  McDaniel JC, Belury M, Ahijevych K, Blakely W. Omega-3 fatty acids effect on wound healing. Wound Repair Regen 2008;16:337-345.  (PubMed)

67.  McDaniel JC, Massey K, Nicolaou A. Fish oil supplementation alters levels of lipid mediators of inflammation in microenvironment of acute human wounds. Wound Repair Regen. 2011;19:189-200.  (PubMed)

68.  Cardoso CR, Souza MA, Ferro EA, Favoreto S, Jr., Pena JD. Influence of topical administration of n-3 and n-6 essential and n-9 nonessential fatty acids on the healing of cutaneous wounds. Wound Repair Regen. 2004;12:235-243.  (PubMed)

69.  Albina JE, Gladden P, Walsh WR. Detrimental effects of an omega-3 fatty acid-enriched diet on wound healing. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1993;17:519-521.  (PubMed)

70.  Porras-Reyes BH, Schreiner GF, Lefkowith JB, Mustoe TA. Essential fatty acids are not required for wound healing. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1992;45:293-298.  (PubMed)