DR MARK J. WINTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MARK J. WINTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Linoleic acid. Computer model of a molecule of linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour- coded; carbon (blue), hydrogen (gold) and oxygen (red). This is a polyunsaturated fat. It is found in plant oils, especially sunflower oil. In the body it is involved in the biosynthesis of cell membranes and prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that mediate physiological functions, including blood pressure and pain. However to be fully utilised by the body it must first be converted to gamma-linolenic acid.
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