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Fatty Acid Intake and Sebaceous Gland Activity (PUFA involved?)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 07, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Hi hackers,

I was wondering if there's a connection between the composition of dietary fatty acids and sebum production.

According to this study (http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v83/n2/abs/5614792a.html) it seems that...

"...the Delta6-desaturase that produces the monounsaturated fatty acids of human sebum requires a substrate having a straight chain of at least 12 carbon atoms extending from the carboxyl group."

In my experience, when my only source of fat is coconut oil, my skin (and scalp) is getting very dry. But coconut oil contains a lot of C:12 (lauric acid).

Can there be a connection? Anyone experienced similar effects?

UPDATE:

After some research it seems that linoleic acid (yes right that's a PUFA!) is a precursor of the main sebum constituents. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835893/)

"...making it reasonable to assume that linoleic acid is directly involved in the sebaceous lipid synthesis."

Since coconut oil doesn't contain much of it, this could explain the dry skin/scalp. Hence, going completely without PUFA seems not to be a reasonable idea...

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on April 07, 2012
at 02:14 PM

Hi, I eat lots of fish. But also 100-200grams coconut oil, which might be a bit too much.

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1 Answers

1
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on April 07, 2012
at 02:07 PM

Definitely a connection.... I don't have any links handy but I've heard and experienced that omega 3s can increase sebaceous gland activity.

Do you take fish oil or eat sardines/salmon/mackerel? You may wanna try that.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on April 07, 2012
at 02:14 PM

Hi, I eat lots of fish. But also 100-200grams coconut oil, which might be a bit too much.

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