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The effects on plasma, red cell and platelet fatty acids of taking 12 g/day of ethyl-eicosapentaenoate for 16 months: dihomogammalinolenic, arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids and relevance to Inuit metabolism.

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Laxdale Ltd, Kings Park House, Laurelhill Business Park, Stirling, FK7 9JQ, Scotland, UK.


A patient with mantle cell lymphoma took 12g/day of ethyl-eicosapentaenoate for 16 months. Compared to reference values, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids were elevated in plasma, red cells and platelets but docosahexaenoic acid levels were in the normal range. Arachidonic acid levels were moderately reduced but dihomogammalinolenic acid levels remained in the normal range. In spite of a long chain n-3 fatty acid intake higher than in most Inuit populations, arachidonic acid levels remained considerably higher in this patient than in the Inuit. The implications for understanding of fatty acid metabolism in humans are discussed.

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