Fatty acids synthesized from essential fatty acids in schizophrenia

Levels of arachidonic acid (AA), which is synthesized from linoleic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is synthesized from alpha linoelic acid are significantly lower (P < 0.001) in drug-naive patients with schizophrenia compared to controls. See also Reddy et al. Linoleic acid and alpha linoelic are the two essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids must be obtained from the diet. Essential fatty acids must also be absorbed to be effective.

With difficulties in fat absorption due to low levels of taurine, which is required for synthesis of various taurine conjugated bile acids, absorption of essential fatty acids would be impaired which would lead to low levels of arachidonic acid and low levels of docosahexaenoic acid which is what is seen in schizophrenia.

Taurine is synthesized from L-cysteine. L-cysteine is synthesized by the transsulfuration pathway. With dysregulation of the transsulfuration pathway in schizophrenia there will be low levels of L-cysteine and low levels of taurine which will lead to low levels of various omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in schizophrenia.

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