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Three essential fatty acids

  1. Oct 20, 2005 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    I have in my biology notes that the three essential fatty acids are:
    Omega-3, Omega-6, and Linoleic acid
    I'm confused because googling around I found several sources saying that Omega-6 IS Linoleic Acid. I have a bottle of flaxseed oil capsules and it says pretty much the same thing on the back. I thought maybe I should have actually written Linolenic Acid, but I believe that's actually the same thing as Omega-3 (Alpha-Linolenic Acid).
    Can anyone clear up my confusion? Thanks!:smile:
     
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  3. Oct 20, 2005 #2

    Moonbear

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    It's quite possible you've gotten the names written wrong because there is barely any difference in the spelling. Both linoleic and linolenic acid are considered essential fatty acids. Depending on where you read, some books say there are two essential fatty acids and some say three, and the cautious ones say there are "at least two." Arachidonic acid is the third.

    I don't actually have any texts that refer to them as Omega-3 and Omega-6 (I checked 4 different textbooks to make sure I was giving you correct information...I don't think much about fatty acids on a daily basis), and I'm unfamiliar with that particular nomenclature, so can't help you sort out which is which any better than you can on your own (I'd just use Google for that too).
     
  4. Oct 20, 2005 #3

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    Thanks, Moonbear. I am going to poll some other students and see what they wrote down in their lecture notes. I've only asked one other person so far and she had written the same thing I had, so I will check around. I have a test tonight so it was sort of a last minute question. Kicking myself now because I totally forgot to ask my teacher about it last week. :mad:
     
  5. Oct 20, 2005 #4

    Moonbear

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    I suppose it's also possible the teacher said it wrong given the similarity of the two words. It's an easy one to trip over. What does your textbook say on it?
     
  6. Oct 20, 2005 #5

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    or I had wax in my ears or something. :biggrin:
    The textbook doesn't really list it out:
    Looking at the book makes me think the three are linoleic (aka Omega-6), linolenic, and and omega-3, but then again, omega-3 might just be another term for linolenic fatty acid, because I have found it called alpha-linolenic acid in my web searches.
     
  7. Oct 20, 2005 #6

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    anyway, it's not that big a deal, but I'll report back when I find out what the teacher meant.
     
  8. Oct 21, 2005 #7

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    hmm.. well, what I had written down was actually what she said. I asked her about it right before the test. But then she said, it wouldn't be on the exams, so I am going to quit worrying about it for now.
    I am just about to pop a flaxseed capsule. The nutritional goodies it contains, according to the label, are Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3), Linoleic Acid (Omega 6), and Oleic Acid (Omega 9).
     
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