fatty acids, unsaturatedmedical dictionary

Fatty acids containing one (monounsaturated) or multiple (polyunsaturated) double bonds. They predominate in most plant-derived fats. The number and position of each double bond can be specified, as in the systematic names, or the position of the double bond closest to the methyl group (omega) terminus can be specified to denote functional subdivisions of the overall group, e.g., omega-3 fatty acids. The numbers and positions of the double bonds have been linked to effects on plasma lipid, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels.

(12 Dec 1998)