Fatty acids and brain peptides

Shlomo Yehuda, Sharon Rabinovitz, Ralph L. Carasso, David I. Mostofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The role of fatty acids (FA) as a mediator and modulator of central nervous system activity in general, and peptides in particular, is only recently becoming understood. This paper reviews numerous findings concerned with the activity of fatty acids, particularly with their interaction with diverse neurochemical systems and their consequences for better understanding neurotransmitters, hormones and peptides. The effects include FA as precursors in the manufacture of neurochemical elements, including enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones. Of particular interest is the important changes in neuronal membrane composition that have been attributed to FA. Such changes may account for the changes in thermoregulation, learning, and other functions that accompany dietary manipulation of FA intake. While the total level of FA has been the object of many investigations, this report addresses the need to focus on the ratio of FA, especially α- linolenic/linoleic acid, which has been shown to be a critical factor in a number of research studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-419
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Fatty acids
  • Learning
  • Linoleic
  • Neuronal membrane
  • Pain
  • Ratio
  • Releasing factors
  • Thermoregulation
  • n-3
  • n-6
  • α-Linolenic


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