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Linoleate metabolism in multiple sclerosis
  1. J. Belin,
  2. N. Pettet,
  3. A. D. Smith,
  4. R. H. S. Thompson,
  5. K. J. Zilkha
  1. Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry, The Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London
  2. The National Hospital, Queen Square, London


    (1) The levels of oleate and linoleate in the serum have been measured in 14 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and in 14 healthy subjects before, during and after a five day period when the normal diet was supplemented with linoleate. (2) In confirmation of earlier work the mean percentage of linoleate in the serum lipids of the MS patients was significantly lower (P < 0·01) than in the control subjects in the pre-supplementation period. The mean percentage of oleate showed an increase (P < 0·005) in the patients as compared with the controls while on their normal diets. (3) The period of linoleate feeding produced a considerable rise in the percentage of linoleate together with a fall in the percentage of oleate in both the controls and the MS patients. (4) When large amounts of linoleate, as present in sunflower seed oil, are ingested we have been unable to obtain evidence of a defect in absorption from the intestinal lumen.

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