William E.M. Lands

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William E.M. Lands (born July 22, 1930) is an American nutritional biochemist who is among the world's foremost authorities on essential fatty acids.[1] Lands graduated from University of Michigan in 1951 and served on the faculty there from 1955 to 1980. He then moved to University of Illinois (1980–1990) and subsequently the National Institutes of Health (1990–2002), where he served as the Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Lands is credited for discovering the beneficial effects of balancing the effects of excess omega-6 fatty acids with dietary omega-3 fatty acids. The effect of essential fatty acids on formation of hormones is documented in his book, "Fish, Omega-3 and Human Health." University of Michigan's Department of Biological Chemistry endowed a "Lectureship on the Biochemical Basis for the Physiology of Essential Nutrients" in honor of William E.M. Lands.

Lands Lecturers have included:

Upon receipt of a Pfizer Biomedical Research Award in 1985, Lands developed an empirical mathematical relationship showing how metabolism of dietary omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids leads to predictable proportions of their elongated highly unsaturated derivatives (HUFA) accumulated in tissue lipids.[2] After retirement, he changed from publishing as William E.M. Lands to Bill Lands as he put increased attention to primary prevention of health disorders related to excessive actions of omega-6 mediators [3][4] and describing consequences of imbalanced dietary intakes of omega-3 and omega-6 nutrients.[5][6] More recently, Lands described an Omega 3-6 Balance Score that indicates the likely impact of individual food items on the balance of HUFA accumulated in tissues.[7]


  • William E.M. Lands (2005) Fish, Omega-3 And Human Health. American Oil Chemists Society, ISBN 1-893997-81-2

Classics Reprints in Biological Chemistry[edit]



  1. ^ Nicole Kresge, Robert D. Simoni, and Robert L. Hill, Journal of Biological Chemistry Classics, v. 284, p. e3, 2009
  2. ^ Lands, W.E.M., et al. (1992) Maintenance of lower proportions of n-6 eicosanoid precursors in phospholipids of human plasma in response to added dietary n-3 fatty acids. Biochem. Biophys. Acta, 1180:147-162.
  3. ^ Lands B. A critique of paradoxes in current advice on dietary lipids. Prog Lipid Res. 2008 Mar;47(2):77-106.
  4. ^ Lands B, Planning primary prevention of coronary disease. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2009 Jul;11(4):272-80.
  5. ^ Lands B, Prevent the cause, not just the symptoms. Prost. Other Lipid Med. 2011; 96: 90-93.
  6. ^ Lands B, Reflections: Everything is connected to everything else. J.Biol.Chem. 2011 Dec.23; 286(51): 43589-43595
  7. ^ Lands B, Lamoreaux E, Describing essential fatty acid balance as 3 - 6 differences rather than 3/6 ratios. Nutrition & Metabolism 2012, 9: 46-54.