"DHA during healthy pregnancy and complicated pregnancies
(pre-eclampsia and intra-uterine growth restriction pregnancies."

Prof. Barbara Meyer ~ of University of Wollongong |  Australia

"Saving Brains and Bodies: PUFA in Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) used in Severe Acute Malnutrition"

Tom Brenna, Ph.D. ~ University of Texas at Austin | Dell Medical School | USA

"Solving the Role of DHA in Preterm Birth"

Susan Carlson, PhD  (Link to Bio)
Associate Dean for Research
Program Director, Doctorate in Medical Nutrition Science
AJ Rice Professor of Nutrition
Department of Dietetics and Nutrition
Kansas U
niversity Medical Center | United States


JUNE 16, 2021 WEBINAR:

"Bioactive lipids: an overview of their structure and functions."
Dr. Simon Dyall  (Link to Bio)
Senior Lecturer, Department of Life Sciences
University of Roehampton | United Kingdom

Abstract: Lipids are a large and structurally diverse group of organic compounds for which there is no internationally accepted definition, and so are often grouped based on different criteria, including their solubility in organic solvents, their structure and functions, or their chemical structures, for example, fatty acyls, glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, sterol lipids, prenol lipids, saccharolipids, and polyketides. This presentation will provide an overview of the structure and functions of bioactive and physiologically important lipids.

The focus of the talk will be on fatty acyls of physiological relevance, including omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), branched chain fatty acids, odd chain fatty acids, conjugated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids, and fatty acid derivatives, such as specialised pro-resolving mediators, oxylipins, and electrophilic fatty acid oxo-derivatives. Since many bioactive lipids are derivatives of fatty acids, and their metabolism is a fundamental part of lipid biochemistry, recent advances in fatty acid metabolism, including omega-3 and -6 PUFA pathways and alternative desaturation routes will also be discussed. There will also be an overview of recent evidence suggesting a complex interplay between lipids, for example, omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs and endocannabinoids.



"Obesity drives a signature of SPM precursor deficiency: Implications for glucose homeostasis and infection"

Raz Shaikh, Associate Professor (Link to Bio)
Associate Chair for Research | Department of Nutrition\
Gillings School of Global Public Health | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

AbstractObesity is associated with a wide range of complications including, but not limited to, chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, cardiovascular diseases, and increased susceptibility to infections. Therefore, there is a critical need to investigate how metabolic changes associated with obesity contribute toward differing complications. I will first cover evidence to show that obesity generally drives a deficiency in the concentration of metabolites of the specialized pro-resolving mediator (SPM) family. Then, I will present examples of how administration of SPMs to obese mice can reverse these deficiencies and thereby improve glucose homeostasis and humoral immunity upon influenza infection.  Finally, the talk will underscore how addressing key gaps in knowledge will allow us to effectively translate SPMs and their parent polyunsaturated fatty acids toward precision clinical trials. These include establishing sex-differences in SPM levels and potential genetic differences in SPM metabolism in the context of a heterogenous population with obesity. Overall, SPM deficiencies are a key hook between obesity and impaired metabolic and infectious outcomes.

Did you miss the 17 March webinar? It will be posted below in the Archive for 30 days.  Webinars are typically posted within 24 hours of completion. All webinars will be in the ISSFAL Members Only section permanently.

Presentations will be available for 30 days then moved to the ISSFAL Members Only section of the website.

"Updates to the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis pathway"
Professor Richard Bazinet, Ph.D. 
Department of Nutritional Sciences | University of Toronto

Abstract: The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are important for regulating brain, heart, and immune function, among others.  While the general principles of the n-3 PUFA synthesis pathway (i.e, that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3n-3) can be converted to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3)) are generally agreed upon, some controversy in the details remain.  In this talk I will provide updates on the synthesis of DHA from precursors, including the Sprecher intermediate tetracosahexaenoic acid (THA; 24:6n-3), as well as the retroconversion of DHA to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3).  While much of the work has been completed in preclinical models, recent translational studies will also be discussed.  In conclusion, this talk hopes not only to address some controversies in n-3 PUFA synthesis but to also raise a few new ones for future research.  

"Unraveling the Effects of Fatty Acids on Inflammation"
Click here to View the Presentation in the ISSFAL Members Only Section
Professor Philip Calder BSc(Hons), PhD, DPhil, RNutr, FRSB, FAfN  (Bio)
Head of Human Development & Health, Professor of Nutritional Immunology
University of Southampton

Abstract: This seminar will describe inflammation, its role in immune defense and how it is linked to many different health conditions. Then the role of different fatty acids in creating an environment which favours or dampens inflammation will be described. Effects of saturated, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids will be discussed. The importance of resolution of inflammation and how fatty acids are involved will be covered.

"MCT, Ketones and Brain Energy Rescue during Aging"
Click here to View the Presentation in the ISSFAL Members Only Section
Stephen C. Cunnane  Bio
Department of Medicine and Research Center on Aging
Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, CANADA

Despite massive effort and investment, no new therapeutics have been approved for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in over 20 years. The main focus of this effort has been on stopping AD neuropathology (plaques and tangles). In the past 10-15 years, increasing attention is being paid to an alternative issue confronting the aging brain: a gap between its energy needs and the uptake of its main fuel – glucose. This energy gap begins to widen to about 10% in mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the prodromal state of AD, and widens further to ˃20% in AD. In 2015, we reported that in contrast to glucose, the capacity of the AD brain to use the alternative fuel, ketones (acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate), was completely normal and tightly linked to the availability of ketones in the blood. This discovery gave impetus to renew earlier attempts to use ketones to delay the onset of MCI or its progression to AD. To correct the brain energy gap, additional ketones need to be provided either by dietary energy restriction, severe carbohydrate restriction or by an exogenous ketogenic supplement. We took the latter route and recently reported the results of a 6-month RCT using a ketogenic medium chain triglyceride in MCI. The MCI group performed significantly better in 4/5 cognitive domains and in direct relation to the plasma and/or brain level of ketones achieved. Brain energy rescue may be an essential prerequisite for therapeutic progress in AD. 

Acknowledgements: SCC thanks his research team, collaborators and study participants, and CIHR, FRQS, NSERC, MITACS, the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Association USA, Nestlé Health Science, Bulletproof, Abitec for financial and in-kind support of his research program.