Whos afraid of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids?
Berry EM Department of Human Nutrition and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel. Berry@md2.huji.ac.il N-6 fatty acids are essential for normal growth, development and health, and so extreme care is necessary before deciding that they are harmful. Theoretical and epidemiological evidence suggests the involvement of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in disease progression or prevention; however, n-6 function cannot be considered in isolation but needs to be seen as part of the complex of nutrient interactions with n-3 fatty acids (which compete for the same enzymatic pathways) and antioxidants. Insulin sensitivity might be the common factor relating disease to fatty acid metabolism both within and between the fatty acid pathways. High linoleate to arachidonate concentrations have been observed in insulin resistance, diabetic complications and some tumours, but these are multifactorial processes that include many lifestyle det