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Mead acid is an omega-9 fatty acid, first characterized by James F. Mead. Mead acid is the only polyunsaturated fatty acid that the body can make de novum. Its elevated presence in the blood is an indication of essential fatty acid deficiency.
Additional recommended knowledge
Chemically, Mead acid is a carboxylic acid with a 20-carbon chain and three methylene-interrupted cis double bonds. The first double bond is located at the ninth carbon from the omega end. In physiological literature, it is given the name 20:3(n-9). In the presence of lipoxygenase, Mead acid can form various hydroxy products (HETE).
Humans and other mammals require essential fatty acids (EFA). During dietary EFA insufficiency—especially arachidonic acid deficiency—the body will make Mead acid by the elongation and desaturation of oleic acid.   Mead acid thus serves as an indicator of EFA deficiency. One study examined patients with intestinal fat malabsorption and suspected EFA deficiency. They were found to have blood-levels of Mead acid 1263% higher than reference subjects.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mead_acid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|