The increase in patients suffering from ‘lifestyle diseases such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes and gout has been associated with the amount and nature of fats in our diets. In many of these diseases, macrophages and their role in lipid metabolism greatly impacts the development and severity of the disease. Fatty acids, which are a sub-class of lipids, have many different types depending on the number of carbon atoms and the presence of carbon double bonds (i.e. saturated and unsaturated fatty acids). The chemical properties of each fatty acid depend on the number of carbon atoms and degree of saturation. Therefore, it is important to investigate how macrophages metabolize these different types of fatty acids. In this research, we focus on the distribution and the uptake of four fatty acids: palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid, shown in Table 1.
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