Revista de Nutrição
Print version ISSN 1415-5273
ALMEIDA, Kátia Calvi Lenzi de; BOAVENTURA, Gilson Teles and GUZMAN-SILVA, Maria Angélica. Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) as a source of α-linolenic acid in the development of the myelin sheath. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2009, vol.22, n.5, pp. 747-754. ISSN 1415-5273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-52732009000500015.
Flaxseed is an oily seed that has been studied for its beneficial health effects. It is considered a functional food because it is a natural source of phytochemicals and contain the fatty acid α-linolenic acid (C18:3 n-3) that can be metabolically converted into docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6 n-3) and eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5 n-3). The former is essential for the development of the central nervous system. During brain growth, there is a great incorporation of docosahexaenoic acid which plays in important role in the formation of cell membranes. This communication intended to address the likely mechanisms by which docosahexaenoic acid originating from α-linolenic acid, present in abundance in flaxseed, interferes in the formation of the myelin sheath and report the best method to see this structure.
Keywords : Fatty acids essential; Functional food; Flaxseed; Myelin.