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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1999 May-Jun;60(5-6):407-10.

In vivo conversion of linoleic acid to arachidonic acid in human adults.

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Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics, Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, USA.


Human adults are shown to be capable of conversion of linoleic acid (LA, 18:2 n-6) to arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4 n-6) in vivo. It is confirmed that they can also convert alpha-linolenic acid (LNA, 18:3 n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 n-3) and to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 n-3) in vivo. The time course and the maximal response for these processes during the first week after a single dose of the 18-carbon precursor is described. A stable-isotope method in which the protons of the C17 and C18 carbons are substituted with deuterium atoms is used in order to provide for a safe method for the study of human metabolism. High sensitivity and selectivity of detection is assured with negative ion, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. It is clear that human adults on an ad lib diet carry out EFA metabolism in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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