Lipids and EFAs

  1. What are the functions of Lipids?
    • Energy production - A staged process of catabolism of fatty acids for energy
    • Storage - excess fat stored for future energy production

    Insulation - subcutaneous adipose tissue helps to maintain normal body temperature

    Protection - internal (visceral) fat protects the internal organs such as the kidneys and spleen.

    Absorption - Dietary fat is needed for the absorption of fat soluble nutrients.

    Cell membranes - Lipids are essential components of all cell membranes.

    Brain - several types of lipids are essential for brain function 

    Hormones - Steroid hormones are important for stress, sex, immune function and mineral control 

    Many information and control molecules are made of lipids or are lipid-soluble
  2. Lipids exist in the body in what forms?
    Individual fatty acids






    Cholesterol & related steroid based compounds

    Fat soluble vitamins 

  3. Which short chain fatty acid is found in milk, cream and butter? (cow, sheep and goat)
    Butyric Acid
  4. What are Long chain fatty acids absorbed within?
  5. How many carbon atoms do short chain fatty acids have?
    up to 5 carbon atoms
  6. How many carbon atoms do medium chain fatty acids have?
    6-12 carbon atoms
  7. How many carbon atoms do long chain fatty acids have?
    14-22 carbon atoms
  8. How many carbon atoms do very long chain fatty acids have?
    more than 22 carbon atoms
  9. How are short and medium chain fatty acids absorbed?
    into the portal vein, transported to the liver and circulated attached to albumin.
  10. Give some examples of medium chain fatty acids.
    • Caprylic (C8)
    • Capric (C10)
    • Lauric (C12)
  11. Give some examples of long chain fatty acids
    • Palmitic acid
    • Oleic acid
    • Stearic acid
    • The essential fatty acids
  12. What two fatty acids can not be made in the body? (essential fatty acids)
    • Linoleic acid
    • Alpha-linolenic acid
  13. EFA levels are determined primarily by dietary intake. What else can have an effect?
    Sex hormone levels
  14. What is the melting point of butter?
  15. What is the melting point of Coconut oil?
  16. What is the melting point of Peanut Oil?
    3 C
  17. What is the melting point of Olive oil?
    -6 C
  18. What is the melting point of Flaxseed oil?
    -24 C (store in the deep freeze)
  19. Where are the majority of Triglycerides stored?
    In Adipose tissue - adipocytes
  20. When dietary energy is limited, what happens to the fatty acids?
    The fatty acids from triglycerides are mobilised, from apidocytes, into circulation.
  21. Excess dietary energy from carbohydrates and protein is converted to 1.____________ via 2.____________.
    • 1. Triglycerides
    • 2. Lipogenisis
  22. Describe the structure of a Triglyceride.
    They are esters of 3 fatty acids with 3C glycerol.
  23. How can Triglycerides made of saturated fatty acids go rancid?
    By releasing the fatty acids from the glycerol
  24. How can Triglycerides with unsaturated fatty acids go rancid?
    1. By releasing the fatty acids from the glycerol.

    2. When the double bonds are oxidised
  25. What is produced when double bonds are oxidised?
    Malondialdehyde (found in some hydrogenated or over heated fats)
  26. Malondialdehyde is a potential _________?
  27. Cholesterol is essential for the synthesis or action of?
    Vitamin D and so calcium metabolism

    Cortisol, cortisone and related hormones for immune function and stress.

    Aldosterone for mineral and fluid balance

    Oestrogen, progesterone and other female hormones

    Testosterone and other male hormones

    Bile salts and acids, and so for digestion

    Brain chemistry (the brain contains 25% of the bodies cholesterol)

    Cell membrane integrity

    Lipoproteins and triglyceride (TG) transport
  28. What are the protective functions of HDL (High density lipoproteins)?
    Can pick up cholesterol from atherosclerotic arteries.

    Anti inflammatory

    Anti oxidant

    Anti coagulation

    Inhibits platelet aggression

    Low levels of HDL are associated with poor memory
  29. What two types of Polyunsaturated Acids are essential in the diet?
    • Linoleic Acid (LA)
    • Alpha Linoleum acid (ALA)
  30. Name the common Polyunsaturated Acids.
    Linoleic Acid (LA)

    Alpha linolenic Acid (ALA)

    Arachidonic Acid (AA)

    Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)

    Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

    Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
  31. How many carbons and double bonds does Linoleic Acid have?
    • 18:2
    • Carbons - 18
    • Double bonds - 2
  32. How many carbons and double bonds does Alpha-Linolenic Acid have?
    • 18:3
    • Carbons - 18
    • Double bonds - 3
  33. How many carbons and double bonds in Gamma linolenic acid?
    • 18:3
    • Carbons - 18
    • Double bonds - 3
  34. How many carbons and double bonds in Eicosapentaenoic acid?
    • 20:5
    • carbons - 20
    • double bonds - 5
  35. Give 6 functions of Eicosanoids.
    Immune cell behaviour 


    Blood coagulation and blood vessel integrity

    Regulation of blood vessel permeability and contraction

    Central nervous system signalling

    Lipid accumulation
  36. Give 6 functions of Essential Fatty Acids.
    Holding cell membrane proteins

    Controlling substances into and out of cells

    Maintaining membrane fluidity

    cell to cell communication

    foetal brain development

    Precursors to Eicosanoids
  37. Name some diseases associated with an EFA imbalance.
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Metabolic Syndrome
    • Alzheimers 
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Hypertension
    • Cancer
    • Depression
    • Schizophrenia
    • Collagen vascular disease
  38. Name some conditions where EPA could be used.


    Coronary artery disease


    Alzheimers disease


    Cystic Fibrosis
  39. Name some conditions where a combination of EPA and DHA can be used.

    Heart Disease




    Autoimmune conditions

  40. Give two diseases where potential clinical application of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA,s) apply.
    Arthritis (RA)

    ADHD attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
  41. Give two diseases where EFA's have shown to have Evidence Based Efficacy.
    Heart Disease/hypertension

  42. Some side effects associated with taking fish oil capsules are?
    • Loose stools
    • Abdominal discomfort
    • unpleasant belching
  43. What is the adequate daily intake of EPA for adults?
    At least 220mg
  44. What are the therapeutic recommendations of EPA from diet?
    2-3 servings of fatty fish per week which corresponds to 1250mg of EPA plus DHA per day.
  45. What is the official recommended intake of fat?
    15-30% of dietary energy
  46. What is the recommended intake of Linoleic Acid? (percentage of total energy)
  47. What is the recommended intake of Alpha-Linolenic Acid? (percentage of total energy)
  48. What is the healthy upper limit intake of Linoleic Acid? (percentage of total energy)
  49. Chemically, describe the effect desaturase enzymes have on a fatty acid.
    Makes it less saturated by adding a double bond
  50. Name 3 hormones capable of stimulating Lipolysis.
    Epinephrine (adrenaline)

    Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) 

    Adrenocorticotropic hormone

    Thyroid stimulating hormone



    Growth hormone
  51. Which hormone antagonises the hormones that are capable of stimulating Lipolysis?
  52. What does the abbreviation DHA stand for?
    Docosahexaenoic Acid

  53. what does the abbreviation EPA stand for?
    Eicosapentaenoic Acid

  54. How many double bonds do Unsaturated Fatty Acids have?
    1 or more double bonds
  55. How many double bonds do Monounsaturated Fatty Acids have in the chain?
    1 double bond
  56. How many double bonds do Poly unsaturated Fatty Acids have in the chain?
    Several double bonds in the chain
  57. What are the 3 groups of Eicosanoids?
    • Prostaglandins (series 1,2 & 3)
    • Thromboxanes

  58. Prostagladin series 1 is made from?
    Dihomo-y-linolenic acid (DGLA)
  59. Prostaglandin series 2 is made from?
    Arachidonic Acid (AA)
  60. Prostaglandin series 3 is made from?
    Eicosapentanaenoic Acid (EPA)
  61. EPA is the most important factor in limiting ________ production.
    PGE2 (prostaglandin series 2)
  62. The most power effect of PGE3 is the fact that 1._____, their parent substance, prevents 2.__________ from being released from the membranes, preventing 3._______ from being made.
    1. EPA

    2. Arachidonic Acid (AA)

    3. PGE2 (prostaglandin 2)
  63. Fatty acids can be modified by the means of?
    Desaturation enzymes

    Elongation reaction
  64. How do desaturation enzymes modify fatty acids?
    by introducing double bonds
  65. How do Elongation reactions modify fatty acids?
    • by adding two carbon units to the carboxyl
    • (-COOH) end
  66. What inhibits the desaturation enzyme Delta-6 Desaturase?

    (EFAs metabolism)
    Mg and Zn deficiency

    insulin resistance

    Vitamin B6 deficiency

    Diet high in refined sugars

    high intake of monounsaturated, saturated and trans fatty acids



    Adrenaline and glucocorticoids
  67. What inhibits the desaturation enzyme Delta-5 Desaturase?
    Insulin resistance 

    High intake of monounsaturated, saturated and trans fatty acids



    Inadequate Zinc

    Adrenaline and glucocorticoids
  68. Give some popular uses for Alpha Linolenic Acid. (ALA - omega 3)
    • Hypertension
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Psoriasis
    • Eczema
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Lupus
    • Ulcerative colitis and crohns disease
    • Migraine 
    • Skin cancer
    • Renal disease
    • Depression
  69. Potential clinical applications of Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) include:
    • Arthritis
    • Depression
    • IBD
    • Asthma
  70. Alpha Linolenic Acid has shown evidence based efficacy for which two diseases?
    Cardiovascular disease

  71. Adverse reactions/toxicity of Alpha Linolenic Acid:
    Prostate cancer


    Heart disease

    Hyper triglyceridaemia
  72. Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) drug interactions:
    Blood thinning medications like warfarin, aspirin. Omega 3 fatty acids may increase the effects.

    Cholesterol lowering medications: Statins - Omega 3 fatty acids allows them to work more effectively
  73. Popular uses for Gamma Linolenic Acid include:
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Hyperlipidemia
    • Heart disease
    • Syndrome - X
    • Diabetic neuropathy
    • Cancer prevention
    • ADHD
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome
    • Allergic rhinitis
    • Eczema
    • Depression
  74. Gamma Linolenic Acid clinical applications:
    Rheumatoid arthritis


    Menopausal Syndromes

    Premenstrual Syndrome


  75. Name a condition in which Gamma Linolenic Acid has shown evidence based efficacy.
    Diabetic Neuropathy

    Taking GLA for 6 months to a year reduces symptoms and prevents neurological deterioration.
  76. Name some drug interactions of Gamma Linolenic Acid.
    Ceftazidime (antibiotic) - increases effectiveness 

    Chemotherapy drugs - Increase the effects

    Cyclosporine (suppress the immune system) - may increase the effects of this drug

    NSAIDs - counteract the effects of this medication

    Phenothiazines for schizophrenia.
  77. What is the recommended dosage of Gamma Linolenic Acid for Rheumatoid arthritis?
    1,400mg per day
  78. What is the recommended dosage of Gamma Linolenic Acid for Diabetic Neuropathy?
    480mg per day
  79. What is the recommended dosage EPO for breast tenderness and other symptoms of PMS?
    3,000 - 4,000 mg per day of EPO
Card Set
Lipids and EFAs
Lipids and essential fatty acids