Dietary Linolenic Acid and Tissue Function in Rodents

  • W. M. F. Leat


Since the essential fatty acids (EFA) were first discovered over fifty years ago (Burr and Burr, 1930), most investigations have concentrated on the metabolism and function of linoleic acid (18:2n−6), and research on linolenic acid (18:3n−3) has, until recently, been relatively restricted. An armchair scigtist could argue that since linolenic acid possesses the essential Δ12 double bond it should show full EFA activity. However, the reverse could be argued in that the presence of the Δ15 double bond could modify or nullify the effect of the Δ12 double bond by, for example, steric hindrance, resulting in reduced or zero EFA activity. In fact, linolenic acid has partial EFA activity (FAO Report, 1977), and the reasons for this are in itself intriguing.


Linolenic Acid Essential Fatty Acid Testicular Development Fatty Acid Molecule Dietary Linolenic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. M. F. Leat
    • 1
  1. 1.Trinity CollegeCambridgeUK

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