Too much linoleic acid promotes inflammation-doesn't it?

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2008 Sep-Nov;79(3-5):173-5. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2008.09.019. Epub 2008 Nov 5.


Controversy exists over how much linoleic acid (LA) should be consumed in a healthy diet. Some claim that high LA intake promotes inflammation through accumulation of tissue arachidonic acid (AA) and subsequent production of pro-inflammatory lipid mediators. Here the author reviews the current available evidence from human studies that address this issue. The data indicate that high LA in the diet or circulation is not associated with higher in vivo or ex vivo pro-inflammatory responses. Surprisingly, several studies showed that those individuals consuming the highest level of LA had the lowest inflammatory status. Recent findings suggest that LA and AA are involved in both pro- and anti-inflammatory signaling pathways. Thus, within the ranges of intake that are achievable for most human populations, the evidence do not support reducing LA intake below current consumption levels.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Linoleic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Linoleic Acid / blood
  • Linoleic Acid / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological


  • Linoleic Acid