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Review

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

Cholewski, M.; Tomczykowa, M.; Tomczyk, M. A Comprehensive Review of Chemistry, Sources and Bioavailability of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1662. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111662

AMA Style

Cholewski M, Tomczykowa M, Tomczyk M. A Comprehensive Review of Chemistry, Sources and Bioavailability of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Nutrients. 2018; 10(11):1662. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111662

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cholewski, Mateusz; Tomczykowa, Monika; Tomczyk, Michał. 2018. "A Comprehensive Review of Chemistry, Sources and Bioavailability of Omega-3 Fatty Acids" Nutrients 10, no. 11: 1662. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111662

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