noun, plural: omega-6 fatty acids
A type of polyunsaturated fatty acid in which the first double bond is between carbon 7 and carbon 8 from the tail end (omega) of the hydrocarbon chain
A fatty acid is a long chain of hydrocarbon with a carboxylic acid at the beginning (called alpha) and a methyl tail (called omega). One of the ways by which a fatty acid is named is by counting, starting from the tail (omega, ω-) or the n-end. Thus, the name, omega-6 fatty acid, is one in which the first double bond is located between the sixth carbon and the seventh carbon of the hydrocarbon chain.
The omega-6 fatty acid is a polyunsaturated type, which means it has multiple double bonds. In humans, the omega-6 fatty acid is an essential fatty acid. This means, humans are not capable of producing this fatty acid. Thus, it has to be included in the diet based on the recommended daily consumption (e.g. seed oils and vegetable oils). Biologically, it acts as a precursor to endocannabinoids, lipoxins, and certain eicosanoids. Linoleic acid is an example of omega-6 fatty acid.
- n−6 fatty acid
- ω−6 fatty acid