1st Edition

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the DHA Principle

    280 Pages 74 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    278 Pages 74 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The physical-chemical properties of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) enable it to facilitate rapid biochemical processes in the membrane. This effect has numerous benefits, including those involved in the growth of bacteria, rapid energy generation, human vision, brain impulse, and photosynthesis, to name a few. Yet DHA also carries risks that can lead to cellular death and disease. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the DHA Principle explores the roles of omega-3 fatty acids in cellular membranes ranging from human neurons and swimming sperm to deep sea bacteria, and develops a principle by which to assess their benefits and risks.


    The DHA Principle states that the blending of lipids to form cellular membranes is evolutionarily-honed to maximize benefit while minimizing risk, and that a complex blending code involving conformational dynamics, energy stress, energy yield, and chemical stability underlies all cellular membranes.


    This book lays the groundwork to understanding this code. It examines the evolution of DHA and the membrane and explores the general properties of omega-3s and other membrane lipids. It then focuses on cellular biology before shifting to a practical discussion on applications. The authors discuss the DHA Principle as applied to petroleum degradation, winemaking, global warming, molecular farming, aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and the prevention of colon cancer.

    Reflecting the increased public interest that has emerged over the years, this volume uses an integrative approach to explain the complex roles of omega-3s in the membrane. Incorporating principles from chemistry, cellular biology, evolution, and ecology, this work gives researchers in a variety of fields the building blocks to stimulate further study.



    Molecular Biology of Omega-3 Chains as Structural Lipids:

    Many Central Questions Remain Unanswered

    Evolution of DHA and the Membrane

    Darwinian Selection of the Fittest Membrane Lipids: From Archaeal Isoprenoids to DHA-Enriched Rhodopsin Disks

    Coevolution of DHA Membranes and Their Proteins

    Convergent Evolution of DHA/EPA Biosynthetic Pathways

    Membrane Evolution in a Marine Bacterium: Capitalizing on DHA for Energy Conservation in Seawater

    Evolution of DHA Membranes in Human Neurons

    General Properties of Omega-3s and Other Membrane Lipids

    DHA/EPA Chains as Powerful Membrane Antifreeze

    DHA as a Mediocre Permeability Barrier against Cations: Water Wire Theory

    DHA/EPA Membranes as Targets of Oxidative Damage

    Cellular Biology of Omega-3s and Other Membrane Lipids

    Bacteria: Environmental Modulation of Membrane Lipids for Bioenergetic Gain

    Chloroplasts: Harnessing DHA/EPA for Harvesting Light in the Sea

    Mitochondria: DHA-Cardiolipin Boosts Energy Output

    Sperm: Essential Roles of DHA Lead to Development of a Mechanical Stress Hypothesis

    Lessons and Applications

    DHA/EPA Mutualism between Bacteria and Marine Animals

    Membrane Adaptations for an Oily Environment: Lessons from a Petroleum-Degrading Bacterium

    Lessons from Yeast: Phospholipid Conformations Are Important in Winemaking

    DHA Principle Applied to Global Warming

    DHA Principle Applied to Molecular Farming

    DHA/Unsaturation Theory of Aging

    DHA Principle Applied to Neurodegenerative Diseases

    Dietary DHA in Prevention of Colon Cancer: How a Risk to the Cell Benefits the Organism



    Raymond C. Valentine is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis and Visiting Scholar in the Marine Science Institute at the University of California in Santa Barbara. David L. Valentine is an associate professor of earth science at the University of California in Santa Barbara.