The Fats of Life
Essential Fatty Acids in Health and Disease
Glen D. Lawrence
Omega-3s, trans-fats, polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid—research facts about fatty acids and their relationship to heart disease and atherosclerosis, obesity, cancer, and neurological disorders abound. Chemical names appear on every nutrition label. But, just what do these terms mean in health and disease?
The Fats of Life delineates the importance of essential fatty acids, with a focus on distinctions between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid variants. The chemical and biochemical characteristics of these fatty acids and their metabolism to a vast array of potent bioactive messengers are described in the context of their potential effects on general health and impact on various diseases and neurological disorders. Glen D. Lawrence addresses in detail the capacity for polyunsaturated fatty acids to influence asthma, atherosclerosis, heart disease, inflammation, cancer, and immunity. Lawrence makes clear that our understanding of the biochemical and physiological effects of dietary fats has advanced tremendously as a result of careful research, but he also stresses that this knowledge has not easily translated into sound dietary recommendations.