Biomarkers

What is Linoleic Acid?

Linoleic acid is by far the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid in most human tissues. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, and low levels indicate dietary insufficiency, which can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as:

– Eczema-like skin eruptions
– Loss of hair
– Liver degradation
– Behavorial disturbances
– Kidney degeneration
– Increased thirst
– Frequent infections
– Poor wound healing
– Sterility
– Miscarriage
– Arthralgia (aching or pain in the joints without swelling)
– Cardiovascular disease
– Growth retardation

Some of these symptoms result from lack of Linoleic acid in membranes, where it plays a role in structural integrity. Most, however, are from failure to produce eicosanoids, which are cell regulators. Linoleic acid is the starting point for this pathway. Normal neonatal status of this fatty acid is marginal, if not insufficient. Since dietary sources (especially corn oil) are abundant, however, Linoleic acid may be found above normal. Excessive Linoleic acid can contribute to inflammation.

Supplementation with LA has been shown to increase body weight and essential fatty acid status in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Low levels:

Low levels indicate dietary insufficiency.

Symptoms:

– Eczema-like skin eruptions
– Loss of hair
– Liver degradation
– Behavorial disturbances
– Kidney degeneration
– Increased thirst
– Frequent infections
– Poor wound healing
– Sterility
– Miscarriage
– Arthralgia (aching or pain in the joints without swelling)
– Cardiovascular disease
– Growth retardation

Potential response is to add corn, safflower or black current oil.

High levels:

Since dietary sources (especially corn oil) are abundant, Linoleic acid may be found above normal. Excessive Linoleic acid can contribute to inflammation.

References:
– Steinkamp G, Demmelmair H, Ruhl-Bagheri I, von der Hardt H, and Koletzko B. Energy Supplements Rich in Linoleic Acid Improve Body Weight and Essential Fatty Acid Status of Cystic Fibrosis Patients, J of Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 31(4):418-423 (2000).
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5492028/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26240151
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28752873
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22889633

Disclaimer:

The information on healthmatters.io is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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