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Arachidonic Acid (AA) Deficiency

QueijoFresco. [5]

QueijoFresco.

What Is Arachidonic Acid?

Arachidonic acid is a major essential (must have/can’t make) omega-6 fatty acid.

Structurally, arachidonic acid is a key component of nerve membranes, together with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a major opposing omega-3 fatty acid, making up 15-20% of the brain’s dry mass and more than 30% of the retina.

In healthy human volunteers, positron emission tomography (PET) has shown that the normal human brain consumes 17.8 mg/day of arachidonic acid.1 [6]

Arachidonic acid is particularly concentrated in highly active membranes such as nerve synapses (junctions) and in photoreceptors in the eye retina.2 [7]

Arachidonic acid is an important building substance for the eicosanoids.

Q: What function do the eicosanoids have that are derived from arachidonic acid?

A: Eicosanoids are a large group of highly bioactive hormone-like substances including prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes that are involved in blood clotting, inflammation, and vasoconstriction. Eicosanoids derived from arachidonic acid are pro-inflammatory, pro-blood clotting, and constrict blood vessels in opposition to those derived from the omega-3 fatty acids which do the opposite in order to keep a balance in the body.

What Is Arachidonic Acid Deficiency In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Rapoport SI. Brain arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acid cascades are selectively altered by drugs, diet and disease. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2008 Sep-Nov;79(3-5):153-6. Epub 2008 Oct 29.  [10]

  2. Richardson AJ. The importance of omega-3 fatty acids for behavior, cognition, and mood. Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition. 2003;47(2):92-8.  [11]