Volume 12, Number 5-6, Septembre-Décembre 2005
|Page(s)||333 - 343|
|Published online||15 September 2005|
Les rôles physiologiques majeurs exercés par les acides gras polyinsaturés (AGPI)
Groupe Neurobiologie des lipides, Laboratoire de nutrition et sécurité alimentaire, Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), CRJ, 78352
2 UMR INSERM 557/INRA/CNAM “Epidémiologie nutritionnelle”, ISTNA/CNAM, 5 rue du Vertbois, 75003 Paris France
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential nutrients for mammals and the human species, and belong to either of two distinct and not interconvertible series, omega 6 and omega 3. The metabolic precursors of these two series, linoleic and α-linolenic acids respectively, are the dietary essential fatty acids. These two fatty acids, once absorbed, lead to the specific synthesis and incorporation in practically all cell membranes of long-chain active PUFA derivatives such as arachidonic acid for the omega 6 series and eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids for the omega 3 series. Long-chain PUFA affect many physiological functions because they are essential factors in many cellular functions by regulating physical properties of membranes, eicosanoid signalling and gene expression of encoding enzymes of triglyceride storage and fatty acid oxidation. The consumption of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in equilibrated proportions could be crucial in the regulation of cellular physiology and in the prevention of pathologies such as cardiovascular, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, diabetes and obesity, certain neuropsychiatric affections, etc. Indeed, the dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acid (α-linolenate and also docosahexaenoate) are crucial parameters in the development of retinal and neural function in the newborn infant. On the other hand, a high ratio of omega6/omega 3 fatty acids in cell membranes due to an excessive consumption of omega 6 fatty acids and a relative omega 3 fatty acid deficiency, may promote the pathogenesis of several diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory disorders and obesity.
Key words: arachidonic acid / docosahexaenoic acid / eicosapentaenoic acid / physiological functions / polyunsaturated fatty acids / cell membranes
© John Libbey Eurotext 2005
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