Omega-3 fatty acids

William S. Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Long-chain, highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) of the omega-3 (o-3 or n-3) family include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DPA are 20-and 22-carbon molecules, respectively, with five double bonds D5,8,11,14,17, while DHA is a 22carbon and six double-bond molecule D5,8,11,14,17,20. All fatty acids (FA) in the o-3 family are characterized by having their first double bond at the 3rd position counting from the terminal (o or nth) methyl group in the molecule (Fig. 1). As with the omega-6 family, o-3 FA cannot be synthesized de novo by mammals and must be obtained from the diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Dietary Supplements
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781482204056
ISBN (Print)0824755049, 9780824755041
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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