, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1137-1141

Serum n3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Are Depleted in Crohn's Disease

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To determine fatty acid patterns in Crohn'sdisease, we measured various serum fatty acids by gaschromatography in 20 patients with the disease andcompared them with those in 18 healthy controls. All the patients had been free from any nutritionalsupplementation during preceding six months or had nohistory of intestinal resection. Eight of the patientswere affected in the small bowel only, three in the large bowel only, and the remaining ninein both the small and large bowel. Both serumconcentrations and percentages of C20:4n6,C20:5n3, C22:0,C22:6n3, total n3 polyunsaturated fattyacids, and total polyunsaturated fatty acids were lower in the patients than inthe controls. Both essential fatty acids(C18:2n6, C18:3n3) andC20:3n9 levels were not different between thetwo groups. Among nine fatty acids that correlated with the Crohn's disease activity index,C20:5n3 and total n3 polysaturated fattyacids showed the most significant negative correlations.These findings suggest that essential fatty aciddeficiency rarely occurs in Crohn's disease and alsothat n3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be relevantto the activity of the disease.