Fatty Acid Oxidation during Development

  • Joseph B. Warshaw
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 46)


There has been considerable interest in the use of fatty acids as a source of calories in parenteral nutrition. From the standpoint of energy economy fatty acids offer a distinct caloric advantage over carbohydrates and proteins in that they provide nine calories per gram administered in contrast to the approximately four calories yielded by carbohydrates and amino acids. Thus, from the weight volume standpoint, the administration of fatty acids in parenteral nutrition can provide patients with significant nutritional increments. In addition, fatty acids are the preferred energy fuel of a number of tissues including heart (Shipp et al., 1961), renal cortex, and small intestinal mucosa (Hulsmann, 1971) so that their availability and administration is likely to spare both carbohydrate and protein catabolism by those and other tissues. The capacity of mammalian tissues to utilize fatty acids as an energy fuel develops after birth as part of the general metabolic adaptation of the mammalian newborn to the postnatal environment. It has been long recognized that energy requirements during embryonic and fetal development are provided primarily by carbohydrates (Needham and Lehman, 1937).


Chain Fatty Acid Fatty Acid Oxidation Carbon Chain Length Cytochrome Oxidase Activity Fatty Acid Activation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph B. Warshaw
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, School of MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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