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alpha-Linolenic acid and long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in three patients with omega-3 fatty acid deficiency: effect on lymphocyte function, plasma and red cell lipids, and prostanoid formation



alpha-Linolenic acid and long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in three patients with omega-3 fatty acid deficiency: effect on lymphocyte function, plasma and red cell lipids, and prostanoid formation



American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 49(2): 290-300



.alpha.-Linolenic acid deficiency is described in three patients. Observed clinical symptoms were hemorrhagic dermatitis, hemorrhagic dermatitis, hemorrhagic folliculitis, skin atrophy, and scaly dermatitis. Supplementation with ethyl .alpha.-linolenate followed by a purified fish oil (EPA-oil) began to normalize symptoms within 10 d. The mitogenic response in isolated lymphocytes was reduced whereas the number of T lymphocytes increased significantly. Serum thromboxanes, urinary excretion of 2,3-dinor-6-keto-prostaglandin F1.alpha. (PGI2-M), and bleeding time were unaffected. The results indicate that .omega.-3 fatty acids are essential for normal accumulation of erytorocyte .omega.-6 acids. The dietary intake of long-chain .omega.-3 acids required to obtain midnormal concentrations of .omega.-3 acids in plasma and erythrocyte lipids was estimated to be 350-400 mg/d (0.4% of calories), whereas the corresponding mean intake of .alpha.-linolenic acid was 990 mg/d (1.0% of alories). It is suggested that essential fatty acid requirement should be stated as grams or milligrams per day, similarly to other essential nutrients.

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Accession: 006999349

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PMID: 2563625


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