A Saturation Kinetic Model to Teach Balance of Essential Fatty Acids in Nutrition Education
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New computer software provides educators and students with dramatic capabilities for teaching theory in the classroom (Hargrove, 1998; Wastney et al., 1999). Computers confer the ability to create scenarios that facilitate hypothesis testing, and they can be used to explore change over time when the balance of a system is altered. Most hypotheses lead to quantitative predictions that can be stated as one or more equations, and computers allow these to be solved as part of classroom presentations even when the underlying equations appear difficult. This paper shows how to use software for modeling to make predictions about the tissue effects of dietary essential fatty acids. Using STELLA® Research software, we converted a set of equations that predicts the effect of dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids on membrane lipids into a dynamic model. The outcomes can be used to discuss the consequences of consuming balanced or imbalanced patterns of essential fatty acids.
KeywordsLinoleic Acid Essential Fatty Acid Membrane Phospholipid Human Adipose Tissue Fatty Acid Ethyl Ester
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