A clinical deficiency in essential fatty acids is rare but can occur if certain risk factors are present.


Poor intake or malabsorption:

(1) cystic fibrosis

(2) acrodermatitis enteropathica

(3) fat malabsorption

(4) AIDS

(5) anorexia nervosa

(6) severe malnutrition


Increased requirements:

(1) after severe trauma

(2) after severe burn

(3) with prolonged infection or sepsis


Nutritional replacement:

(1) patients receiving long term parenteral nutrition with high glucose but without lipid

(2) refeeding in kwashiorkor with a high protein, low fat diet



(1) neonates, especially premature infants (low stores, increased requirements)

(2) peripheral vascular disease (? associated with concurrent bowel ischemia)

(3) multiple sclerosis


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