Just when you thought you knew it all about fatty acids, the good ones and bad ones, there’s more! The body actually makes fatty acids. Well, really, it’s an enzyme that’s called ether lipid and it’s important in how the body handles carbohydrates, and reacts to inflammation! Ether lipids help keep special white blood cells called neutrophils healthy and in check.

When there are too many neutrophils, (neutrophilia) that means there is inflammation and it could be the culprit in rheumatoid arthritis, as well as leukemia.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis looked at genetically engineered mice that did not have the ability to make ether lipids. The mice lost weight and had very low levels of white blood cells. It is delicate balance because without ether lipids, the neutrophils die.

Arthritis is diagnosed in 53,500 people a year in the US, and leukemia claims almost 25,000 lives per year. Researchers believe that by developing ways to intervene with the ether lipids, targeted treatments can be developed.

Read more at www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287707.php

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