Monday, December 14, 2020

Bill Lands (aka William E.M. Lands, PhD) Resources on n-6 and n-3 PUFAs

Bill Lands is one of the titans in the field of human PUFA metabolism. As Wikipedia puts it: "...[he] is an American nutritional biochemist who is among the world's foremost authorities on essential fatty acids."

I don't call him "Bill" to be familiar, after he retired he switched from publishing as William E.M. to Bill.

Here's a select bibliography of interesting things he's written and done.

He's pretty fiery, so be sure to watch those video of his speech in (I think) 1999 at the NIH workshop, whence this quote:

It's in four parts, but it's well worth it. 

Or this:

"Fifty years later, I still cannot cite a definite mechanism or mediator by which saturated fat is shown to kill people." (Lands 2008)

Graff, G., Sacks, R. W., & Lands, W. E. M. (1983). Selective loss of mitochondrial genome can be caused by certain unsaturated fatty acids. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 224(1), 342–350.

Lands, B. (2008). A critique of paradoxes in current advice on dietary lipids. Progress in Lipid Research, 47(2), 77–106.
Lands, B. (2014). Historical perspectives on the impact of n-3 and n-6 nutrients on health. Progress in Lipid Research, 55, 17–29.
Lands, B. (2020, February 1). Essential Fatty Acids Home Page. EFA Education.
NIH. (1999a, April 7). 1 of 4—Dr William Lands on Cardiovascular Disease Omega-6.
NIH. (1999b, April 7). 2 of 4—Dr William Lands on Cardiovascular Disease Omega-6.
NIH. (1999c, April 7). 3 of 4—Dr William Lands on Cardiovascular Disease Omega-6.
NIH. (1999d, April 7). 4 of 4—Dr William Lands on Cardiovascular Disease Omega-6.
NIH. (1999e, April 7). Workshop on the Essentiality of Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Strandjord, S. E., Lands, B., & Hibbeln, J. R. (2018). Validation of an equation predicting highly unsaturated fatty acid (HUFA) compositions of human blood fractions from dietary intakes of both HUFAs and their precursors. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids, 136, 171–176.
Wikipedia. (2020). William E.M. Lands. In Wikipedia.


  1. Great lecture by Lands and good on you for digging it out. Just goes to show how long it takes for the medical paradigm to change. 21 years later and maybe soon we'll see all the "heart healthy" nonsense getting removed from all those bottles of seed oil that still dominate my supermarket isles.

  2. Tucker, just listened to talking about Lands' research with the Low Carb MD guys. Fantastic podcast. I have a question about rapeseed oil. Have you seen research that shows it to be less harmful - owing to low linoleic acid content, and, when cold pressed, less oxidation via the manufacturing process? I notice that it's usually rapeseed oil in the 'high end ' processed foods (ie: imitation home cooked). I'm not looking for an excuse to eat it - it's an academic question.

  3. There's rapeseed and there's Canola. Rapeseed is toxic due to the erucic acid content. Mustard seed also has a high erucic acid content, and is therefore banned from sale for human consumption in the US.

    Canola is rapeseed that is bred for low erucic acid content, and is therefore "safer". It has a better fatty acid content than some other seed oils, and so is less deleterious than some other seed oils options.

    Nevertheless, it has a lot of n-6. There is now a "high-oleic" Canola, which has less n-6 than "Classic" Canola. Due to the lower n-6, that's an even better option.

    "Classic and High-Oleic Canola Oils"

    1. in the UK it is on the shelves as 'rapeseed'

  4. Yes, rapeseed in the UK and maybe the EU. Canola indicates a rapeseed oil produced in Canada, Europe also produces lots of rapeseed.