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Arachidonic acid

Arachidonic acid (AA) is a fatty acid of the omega-6 class, and is the main fatty acid of interest when referring to an omega-3:6 ratio (relative to fish oil fatty acids). It is proinflammatory and immunosupportive.

Our evidence-based analysis on arachidonic acid features 130 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
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Last Updated:

How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend an ideal dose of arachidonic acid supplementation, but anecdotally it is used at the dosage of around 2,000 mg taken 45 minutes before a workout. It is uncertain if this is an optimal dose or whether the timing is required.

It should also be noted that for persons with chronic inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel diseases, that the ideal dose of arachidonic acid may actually be a dietary restriction thereof. In instances of inflammatory diseases, arachidonic acid supplementation is likely contraindicated.

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects arachidonic acid has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See 2 studies
grade-c - - See study

Studies Excluded from Consideration

  • Confounded with the inclusion of fish oil fatty acids[1]

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Frequently Asked Questions and Articles on Arachidonic acid

Can arachidonic acid work as a bodybuilding supplement?
Can eating arachidonic acid (found in fatty red meat) help grow your muscles?

Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Primary Function:

Also Known As

ARA

Do Not Confuse With

Linoleic acid (parent omega-6 fatty acid)

  • It is possible that arachidonic acid can exacerbate joint inflammation and pain

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Click here to see all 130 references.