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Authors Le HD, Meisel JA, de Meijer VE, Fallon EM, Gura KM, Nose V, Bistrian BR, Puder M
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Journal JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr Volume: 36 Issue: 4 Pages: 431-41
Publish Date 2012 Jul
PubMed ID 22038210
PMC ID 3380148

Essential fatty acids are important for growth, development, and physiologic function. α-Linolenic acid and linoleic acid are the precursors of docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid, respectively, and have traditionally been considered the essential fatty acids. However, the authors hypothesized that docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid can function as the essential fatty acids.Using a murine model of essential fatty acid deficiency and consequent hepatic steatosis, the authors provided mice with varying amounts of docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids to determine whether exclusive supplementation of docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids could prevent essential fatty acid deficiency and inhibit or attenuate hepatic steatosis.Mice supplemented with docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids at 2.1% or 4.2% of their calories for 19 days had normal liver histology and no biochemical evidence of essential fatty acid deficiency, which persisted when observed after 9 weeks.Supplementation of sufficient amounts of docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acids alone without α-linolenic and linoleic acids meets essential fatty acid requirements and prevents hepatic steatosis in a murine model.

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