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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1992 Jun;200(2):174-6.

Minimum requirements of n-3 and n-6 essential fatty acids for the function of the central nervous system and for the prevention of chronic disease.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagoya City University, Japan.


General behavioral patterns of rats or mice fed 5 wt% safflower oil (75% linoleate [n-6] and less than 0.1% alpha-linolenate [n-3]) for two generations were significantly different from those of animals fed 5 wt% perilla oil (15% n-6 and 55% n-3). Also, brightness-discrimination learning ability and retinal function were higher in the perilla group than in the group fed 5 wt% soybean oil (53% n-6 and 4.7% n-3) or safflower oil, indicating that the requirement of n-3 for the maximum responses of the nervous system is above 0.6 en% when there is 6.8 en% linoleate n-6. Perilla oil has been found to be beneficial for the suppression of carcinogenesis, allergic hyperreactivity, thrombotic tendency, apoplexy, hypertension, and aging in animals, as compared with soybean oil and safflower oil. These results are against a lipid peroxide theory of aging, carcinogenesis, and chronic diseases. Animal experiments and epidemiological studies lead to a recommendation that the intake of n-6 should be decreased to as low as 2-4 en% and that of n-3 be increased to levels higher than linoleate n-6 for the prevention of chronic diseases prevailing in the industrialized countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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