Your answer included the statement that the human body can make linolenic and arachidonic from linoleic.


The purpose of your service is great. Accurate nutritional information to the consumer is a must. I stumbled on your information concerning fatty acids and found some errors that I would like to clarify just for your information. Your answer included the statement that “the human body can make linolenic and arachidonic from linoleic. This is only partially true as only arachidonic can be synthesized from linoleic. Linoleic is also termed an omega-6 fatty acid and linolenic is omega-3 fatty acids these two structures cannot be interconverted. Also the amount of linoleic derived from most fish is very small. Fish is very rich in 20:5 and 22:6, which they attain from marine microalgae. Fish is really the only abundant source of these two fatty acids which makes it very important in our diet. Keep up the good work.

Mary VanElswyk, Ph.D. RD Texas A&M University

Thanks for the additional information. I have clarified other questions on linoleic acid.

The whole subject of good and bad fat is very confusing for the consumer. Most persons want to know how to eat healthily and sometimes making healthy food choices is perplexing to the public due to all the science. The point being people should choose healthy fats like olive, peanut, Canola, soy, corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed oils. Foods high in omega 3 fats like salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, anchovies, walnuts and Canola oil. Omega 6 fats (linoleic) are found in polyunsaturated oils like corn, soy, sunflower. Actually many oils are a combination of fatty acids rather than just exclusively omega 3 or just omega 6.