Impact of linoleic acid intake on arachidonic acid formation and eicosanoid biosynthesis in humans

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. Sep-Nov 2008;79(3-5):177-81. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2008.09.007. Epub 2008 Oct 29.


Long-chain conversion of linoleic acid (LA) and eicosanoid formation was followed in 6 healthy females who were given for 6 weeks liquid formula diets which contained no arachidonic acid but, for 2 weeks each, a LA supply of 0 energy% (en%), 4 en%, and 20 en%, respectively.

Results: higher LA intake resulted in higher LA percentages in investigated lipids, but not in higher amounts of LA present in plasma cholesterol esters or phosphatidylcholine of LDL and HDL comparing liquid formula diet (LFD) 4 and LFD 20. A higher intake of LA resulted in a decrease of arachidonic acid, which was most prominent in HDL phosphatidycholine. Eicosanoids derived from cyclo-oxygenase activity were unchanged by LA intake, while an increase of cytochrome P450-dependent tetranorprostanedioic acid formation was observed with LFD 20.

Conclusion: LA intake of 4 en% appears to be a recommendable intake, without signs of stimulated eicosanoid biosynthesis or oxidation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arachidonic Acid / biosynthesis*
  • Arachidonic Acid / blood
  • Cholesterol Esters / blood
  • Eicosanoids / biosynthesis*
  • Eicosanoids / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Linoleic Acid / blood
  • Linoleic Acid / pharmacology
  • Phosphatidylcholines / blood


  • Cholesterol Esters
  • Eicosanoids
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Linoleic Acid