Schizophrenia and n-6 and n-3 fatty acids

In patients with schizophrenia, there are substantial depletions of both n-6 and n-3 fatty acids in red cell membranes . Alpha-linolenic acid (an n-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (a n-6 fatty acid) are essential fatty acids that must be obtained from the diet. Taurine is required for formation of various bile acids. Bile acids are needed for fat absorption. Decreased levels of taurine could lead to decreased absorption of both alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid from which many other n-6 and n-3 fatty acids are synthesized. Low levels of taurine in schizophrenia could explain both decreases in n-6 and n-3 fatty acids seen in schizophrenia. In schizophrenia supplmenting with some combination of alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid could be better than supplmenting with either alone.

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