There are thousands of fatty acids.  Most of them are not essential because our bodies make them.  Essential fatty acids must come from our food.  Here are the two most important "families" of essential fatty acids.  Note that there are more than just one Omega-3 and one Omega-6 fatty acids.


- O M E G A   3   F A M I L Y -

9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid

18:3 n3

a-linolenic acid

6,9,12,15-octadecatetraenoic acid

18:4 n3

stearidonic acid

11,14,17-eicosatrienoic acid

20:3 n3

eicosatrienoic acid (ETA)

8,11,14,17-eicsoatetraenoic acid

20:4 n3

eicsoatetraenoic acid

5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic acid

20:5 n3

eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)

7,10,13,16,19-docosapentaenoic acid

22:5 n3

docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)

4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic acid

22:6 n3

docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

6,9,12,15,18,21-tetracosahexaenoic acid

24:6 n3

tetracosahexaenoic acid

- O M E G A   6   F A M I L Y -

9,12-octadecadienoic acid

18:2 n6

linoleic acid

6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid

18:3 n6

g-linolenic acid

11,14-eicosadienoic acid

20:2 n6

eicosadienoic acid

8,11,14-eicosatrienoic acid

20:3 n6

homo-g-linolenic acid

5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic acid

20:4 n6

arachidonic acid

13,16-docosadienoic acid

22:2 n6

docosadienoic acid

7,10,13,16-docosatetraenoic acid

22:4 n6

adrenic acid

4,7,10,13,16-docosapentaenoic acid

22:5 n6

docosapentaenoic acid