Careful handling of data on fatty acid composition is needed when interpreting evidence for the influence of dietary n-3 and n-6 essential fattyacids on brain function and health conditions. The relative dietary supplies of competing n-3 and n-6 nutrients determine the balance of 20- and 22-carbon n-3 and n-6 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) which accumulate competitively at the 2-position of tissue phospholipids. In turn, the HUFA balance expressed as the %n-6 in HUFA affects the likely intensity of n-6 eicosanoid actions in diverse health conditions. As a result, measures of HUFA balance are important, valid biomarkers for designing and monitoring successful preventive nutrition interventions. Successful interventions must also consider the ability of fatty acid ligands to saturate binding sites of enzymes and receptors and give paradoxical dose-response results.

PMID: 28189338

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