Genova Diagnostics

Docosatetraenoic (Genova)

Optimal Result: 2.6 - 18.1 µmol/L.

Docosatetraenoic Acid is one of these Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids:

– Linoleic Acid

– Gamma Linolenic Acid

– Eicosadienoic Acid

– Dihomogamma Linolenic Acid

– Arachidonic Acid

– Docasadienoic

– Docosatetraenoic Acid

Docosatetraenoic acid is also known as Adrenic acid / Adrenate.

Docosatetraenoic acid is a member of the class of compounds known as very long-chain fatty acids.

Fatty acids belong to one of three types or families: saturatedmonounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These names describe the structure of the fatty acid in terms of whether it is fully loaded with hydrogen.


Docosatetraenoic acid (DTA) is a very long chain omega-6 fatty acid with 22 carbons and 4 double bonds (22:4n6). It is synthesized by adding 2 carbons atoms to the backbone of arachidonic acid using the elongase enzyme. It is sometimes referred to by its common name adrenic acid and is one of the most abundant fatty acids in the early human brain and the adrenal gland.

DTA has not been well studied, though it has recently been shown to have important physiologic functions. It is now believed to be a pro-resolving mediator in inflammation by blocking neutrophilic metabolites and dampening the inflammation response. For example, in osteoarthritis DTA enhances phagocytosis by macrophages which clears products of cartilage breakdown in the joint space.

Supplementation of DTA is being studied as a promising intervention in osteoarthritis to dampen inflammation and prevent structural damage.

Much like AA (its precursor) DTA/adrenic acid is an important component of infant development. DTA is the third most abundant PUFA in the brain and it is necessary for neural tissue development.

DTA is also prevalent in the vasculature. It is metabolized to biologically active prostaglandins and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) which activate smooth muscle channels causing relaxation and vasodilation.

There is some literature to also support DTA/adrenic acid’s role in inducing oxidative stress and cell death through modulating superoxide dismutase enzymes.


– Health Implications of High Dietary Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids [L]

– Significance of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in human health [L]

– Adrenic acid as an inflammation enhancer in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. [L]

– Plasma fatty acid profile as biomarker of coronary artery disease: a pilot study using fourth generation artificial neural networks. [L]

– Association of Plasma Phospholipid n-3 and n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids with Type 2 Diabetes: The EPIC-InterAct Case-Cohort Study [L]

What does it mean if your Docosatetraenoic (Genova) result is too low?

Diets low in omega-6 fatty acids and arachidonic acid would result in lower levels of DTA/adrenic acid. The clinical significance of low levels may be relevant in infant and fetal development.

What does it mean if your Docosatetraenoic (Genova) result is too high?

When omega-6 dietary fatty acids are consumed in abundance, there is an accumulation of desaturation and elongation intermediates. Diets high in fat and simple sugars contribute to obesity and to the accumulation of docosatetraenoic acid.

Increases in polyunsaturated fatty acids can lead to chronic inflammatory diseases such as:

– nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD),

– cardiovascular disease,

– type 2 diabetes,

– obesity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD),

– rheumatoid arthritis,

– and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Potential Responses: Weight control / Glycemic control

Metabolic Association: Increase in adipose tissue

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