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  Indian J Med Microbiol
 

Figure 5: The parallel metabolic pathways of omega-6 and omega-3 FAs. LA is converted to AA through alternating desaturation and elongation reactions. The same enzymes catalyzing these reactions are also required for the conversion of dietary ALA to its physiologically active derivatives EPA and DHA. Thus, the two pathways compete for the same rate-limiting desaturase enzymes. Excess of AA will severely limit the endogenous production of the critical omega-3 PUFAs, EPA, and DHA. AA is important for the integrity and function of cell membranes, and like DHA, it is essential for the normal development and function of the nervous system. Derivatives of AA play important roles in transmembrane signal transduction. However, AA is also converted to pro-inflammatory prothrombotic mediators. Excess AA promotes the development of inflammatory diseases such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and atherosclerosis. Δ: Desaturase enzyme, E: Elongase enzyme, DTA: Docosatetraenoic acid, DPA: Docosapentaenoic acid, LT: Leukotriene, PG: Prostaglandin, TX: Thromboxane, LA: Linoleic acid, AA: Arachidonic acid, EPA: Eicosapentaenoic acid, DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid, ALA: α-linolenic

Figure 5: The parallel metabolic pathways of omega-6 and omega-3 FAs. LA is converted to AA through alternating desaturation and elongation reactions. The same enzymes catalyzing these reactions are also required for the conversion of dietary ALA to its physiologically active derivatives EPA and DHA. Thus, the two pathways compete for the same rate-limiting desaturase enzymes. Excess of AA will severely limit the endogenous production of the critical omega-3 PUFAs, EPA, and DHA. AA is important for the integrity and function of cell membranes, and like DHA, it is essential for the normal development and function of the nervous system. Derivatives of AA play important roles in transmembrane signal transduction. However, AA is also converted to pro-inflammatory prothrombotic mediators. Excess AA promotes the development of inflammatory diseases such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and atherosclerosis. Δ: Desaturase enzyme, E: Elongase enzyme, DTA: Docosatetraenoic acid, DPA: Docosapentaenoic acid, LT: Leukotriene, PG: Prostaglandin, TX: Thromboxane, LA: Linoleic acid, AA: Arachidonic acid, EPA: Eicosapentaenoic acid, DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid, ALA: α-linolenic