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Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111662

A Comprehensive Review of Chemistry, Sources and Bioavailability of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

1
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Białystok, ul. Mickiewicza 2a, 15-230 Białystok, Poland
2
Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Białystok, ul. Mickiewicza 2a, 15-230 Białystok, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 28 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 4 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Lipids and Human Health)
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Abstract

Omega-3 fatty acids, one of the key building blocks of cell membranes, have been of particular interest to scientists for many years. However, only a small group of the most important omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are considered. This full-length review presents a broad and relatively complete cross-section of knowledge about omega-3 monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturates, and an outline of their modifications. This is important because all these subgroups undoubtedly play an important role in the function of organisms. Some monounsaturated omega-3s are pheromone precursors in insects. Polyunsaturates with a very long chain are commonly found in the central nervous system and mammalian testes, in sponge organisms, and are also immunomodulating agents. Numerous modifications of omega-3 acids are plant hormones. Their chemical structure, chemical binding (in triacylglycerols, phospholipids, and ethyl esters) and bioavailability have been widely discussed indicating a correlation between the last two. Particular attention is paid to the effective methods of supplementation, and a detailed list of sources of omega-3 acids is presented, with meticulous reference to the generally available food. Both the oral and parenteral routes of administration are taken into account, and the omega-3 transport through the blood-brain barrier is mentioned. Having different eating habits in mind, the interactions between food fatty acids intake are discussed. Omega-3 acids are very susceptible to oxidation, and storage conditions often lead to a dramatic increase in this exposure. Therefore, the effect of oxidation on their bioavailability is briefly outlined. View Full-Text
Keywords: Omega-3 fatty acids; chemistry; sources; bioavailability Omega-3 fatty acids; chemistry; sources; bioavailability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cholewski, M.; Tomczykowa, M.; Tomczyk, M. A Comprehensive Review of Chemistry, Sources and Bioavailability of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1662.

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