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Fatty Acids are Needed for Growing Statistics

Project id 1016083
Subject area Biology
Document type Essay
Words 1634
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Fatty Acids are required for Growth The lipids of our central nervous system contain high proportions of arachidonic acid (20:4 n-6, AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6 n-3, DHA) which are the two most important polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain. Levels of linoleic acid (18:2 n-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3 n-3) are low, usually less than 1% to two % of fatty acids (Innis, S78-79). Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid are precursors into AA and DHA; they are elongated and desaturated to form AA and DHA (Clandinin, 27). The brain development in humans starts early in the third trimester of pregnancy. This is the most important period for brain AA and DHA accumulation (Innis, S78-79). Therefore, the composition of fat in the brain during this period is very important for normal growth and development of the brain. Any changes in the equilibrium of these fatty acids in the dietary fat intake is going to lead to changes in the membrane functioning of brain cells. During this prenatal life, lipids are mostly necessary for regulatory and structural purposes. After birth, the infant is challenged by changes in the lipid sources. The response to such modifications can be changed by changes in the diet plan. For example, a toddler infant’s answer to human milk is considered to be perfect, so baby formulas attempt to mimic that reaction (Biervliet, S101). Various studies have shown that fatty acid accumulation in the brain increases as the pregnancy progresses. It reaches the maximum level of buildup toward the end of the pregnancy. But there are gaps in the rate of accumulation of those fatty acids. For example, DHA levels in the cerebrum rise as the proportion of the overall fatty acid, whereas AA levels decrease during.

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