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Journal of internal medicine

Birthweights in the Faroe Islands: possible role of isovaleric acid.


PMID 2646392

Abstract

A high intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids has been suggested as a factor in prolonged gestation in the population of the Faroe Islands. It is now suggested that isovaleric acid from pilot whales, a species frequently consumed in the Faroe Islands, may be the unusual dietary factor. Fatty acid data for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) in blood lipids of Faroese and Norwegians is reviewed in terms of the type of fish eaten, apparently mostly lean white fish with DHA much greater than EPA. The popular lean fish, thus, probably provides too little EPA to produce a marked effect on human biochemistry.