Dietary fatty acids and human health
Williams, C. M. (2000) Dietary fatty acids and human health. Annales de Zootechnie, 49 (3). pp. 165-180. ISSN 0003-424X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1051/animres:2000116
A considerable amount of evidence has accumulated to support the view that the very long chain omega 3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) have beneficial cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties and that levels of their consumption are insufficient in most Western diets. More recently, attention has been given to the possibility that the precursor omega-3 PUFA, alpha linolenic acid (ALNA), may share some of the beneficial actions of EPA/DHA on human health. Further research into the metabolism and physiological actions of ALNA, and comparisons with EPA/DHA, is needed before conclusions regarding the optimal amounts and types of omega-3 PUFA for human health can be defined. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which arises as a metabolic by-product of rumen hydrogenation and which is found in foods of animal origin, has been proposed to possess potent health promoting properties, but much of this research has been conducted in experimental animals. There is an urgent need for complementary studies in human volunteers, to confirm the putative anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherogenic, anti-lipogenic and immuno-suppressive properties of CLA.