chapter  21
Dietary Fats, Eicosanoids, and the Immune System
Pages 12

I. Eicosanoids .......................................................................................................................... 539 II. Immune System ................................................................................................................... 542

A. Humoral Immunity....................................................................................................... 543 B. Cell-Mediated Immunity .............................................................................................. 543 C. Eicosanoids and Immunity........................................................................................... 544 D. Noneicosanoid Mediators............................................................................................. 544

III. Dietary Lipids ...................................................................................................................... 545 A. Cholesterol ................................................................................................................... 545 B. Fatty Acids ................................................................................................................... 546 C. Total Dietary Fat .......................................................................................................... 548

IV. Conclusions.......................................................................................................................... 548 References ..................................................................................................................................... 548

There is a complex relationship among dietary fats, eicosanoids, and the immune system. Because long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are the precursors for eicosanoids, these dietary components have the potential to modify levels of the products in the body. This is especially true if there is heavy reliance on a single fat in the diet. While this is the standard approach in nutrition studies in animals, it is also true that in some countries a single fat source provides as much as two-thirds of the population’s total fat intake. In controlled feeding trials in humans, both the type and the amount of fat have been varied to permit an examination of the effects on eicosanoid production or changes in immune status.