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Prostaglandins Leukot Med. 1986 Oct;24(2-3):173-93.

Slow desaturation and elongation of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids as a rationale of eicosapentaenoic acid-rich diet to lower blood pressure and serum lipids in normal, hypertensive and hyperlipemic subjects.


In normal, hypertensive and hyperlipemic subjects, diets supplemented with linoleic acid (LA) or alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) resulted in an increase of the corresponding fatty acids in serum lipids. However, their C20-derivatives, the prostaglandin precursors arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), respectively, were not or only slightly augmented. On the other hand, an EPA-rich diet produced a marked increase of this fatty acid, especially in cholesterol esters. After this diet the decreases of blood pressure and serum lipids were more pronounced when compared with LA- and LNA-rich diets containing a 20-fold higher dose of the polyunsaturated fatty acids. The slow formation of AA and EPA from LA and LNA seems to be a characteristic finding in humans, being different from preferred laboratory animals, for instance, rats. This observation was independent of the presence of risk factors, like arterial hypertension or hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP).

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