The major fatty acids were measured in total lipid extracts of red blood cells from 23 control subjects and 31 patients with multiple sclerosis. In the healthy control subjects an inverse correlation (r = -0.83) was found between the percentages of linoleate and arachidonate. In the patients such an inverse correlation was not found. The results suggest an abnormality in the red blood cells of patients with multiple sclerosis specifically with regard to the regulation of the relative amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, and this has implications for the possible treatment of multiple sclerosis with dietary supplements.
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