Increase Your Essential Fatty Acid (Vitamin F) Intake And Regain Your Health
Every cell in the human body requires fats for metabolic functions. Fats carry fat-soluble vitamins, manufacture hormones, protect our organs and bones. Some types of fats are important to reduce triglycerides and cholesterol in our blood. Certain fats assist in lowering blood pressure, thinning the blood and preventing blood clots.
Sometimes referred to as Vitamin F, essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are composed of two fatty acids - linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linoleic acid (LNA). Linoleic acid is the most complete fatty acid. There are two basic categories of EFA’s - omega-3 and omega-6, which include linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid. The body is not capable of manufacturing essential fatty acids, except the fatty acid arachidonic acid, which can be synthesized in the body from linoleic acid.
Fatty acids are crucial for a healthy nervous system. People who are following extremely low fat diets usually have difficulties concentrating. Studies have shown that such people frequently suffer from hormonal imbalances that can cause depression. People who followed No-Fat-Diets reported extreme moodiness, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.
Significance / Benefits
One reason why so many people today are dealing with inflammation-related illnesses, such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease and fibromyalgia, as well as mental conditions such as depression, ADD and ADHD is due to a lack of essential fatty acids in those individuals’ diets.
- EFA’s are crucial for the synthesis of tissue lipids.
- EFA’s play an important role in the regulation of cholesterol levels.
EFA’s are precursors of prostaglandins, hormone like compounds, producing various metabolic effects in tissues.
- EFA’s stimulate the growth of the beneficial intestinal bacteria.
- EFA’s seem to improve Edema.
- EFA’s (lot’s of them needed) help with Arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
- EFA’s aid in the transmission of nerve impulses which improve learning and concentration.
- EFA’s may have positive results for people with mental disorders like depression, schizophrenia and and Autism.
- EFA stimulate blood circulation.
- EFA’s help prevent varicose veins
- EFA’s help prevent heat attacks and strokes.
- EFA’s assist in weight loss.
- Skin benefits: brings suppleness and a youthful appearance.
- Hair becomes more shiny and healthy when EFA’s are in good supply. EFA’s help manufacture sex and adrenal hormones, which increases energy and sex drive.
- Hair loss and eczema may be early indicators for EFA deficiency.
- Kidneys, heart and liver damage can be serious consequences of a EFA shortage.
- Behavioral disturbances are common when deficient.
- Fertility problems could be indicators of EFA deficiency
- Less efficient immune system that results in prolonged illness may be the result of low EFA intake.
- Low EFA levels may increase susceptibility to infections.
- Tear glands may become impaired and dry up resulting in dry-eye condition.
- Blood pressure and cholesterol levels may be higher when deficient.
- Blood may become more likely to form clots.
- Since the brain greatly depends on EFA’s,a shortage may lead to learning disabilities and problems recalling information.
People that are overweight, suffer from dry eyes, bruise easily and have frequent infections may consider increasing their intake as well as those on a low fat diet or with a dry skin, dandruff or brittle nails. People that suffer from Alzheimer disease and other mental illnesses and inflammatory conditions need to significantly supplement their intake of EFS’s.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
Toxicity has not been determined. However, it is important to understand where the product is coming from. As far as fish oil is concerned, you need to be sure that the fish used in the product were caught in very cold waters, have been health screened, and only edible parts of the animal have been used. Head, tail and organs are typically loaded with contaminants and need to be avoided. For that reason, you need to feel comfortable with the company that you buy the product from.
Flax is typically very highly sprayed. If you want to use flax seed oil or flax seeds, you may be advised to buy organic.
Increase your benefits
Best Food Sources Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Salmon oil, Flax seed oil, Salmon, Mackerel, Walnuts,
Other good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids:
Content as the percentage of ALA in the seed oil
ALA* % in the seeds
Flax seeds 55
Black Raspberry 33
ALA % ALA in the whole food.
Pecan nuts 0.6
Hazel nuts 0.1
Healthy Omega 6 Fatty Acid Sources:
Whole Grains, Seeds, Grapeseed oil, Avocados, Avocado oil
ALA = Alpha Linelic Acid
Ratio Omega 6: Omega 3 is crucial
According to The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health there are several sources of information that suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1:1. Western diets however are common to ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Reasons for that are that Omega 6 fatty acids are the primary oil ingredient added to most processed foods and are found in commonly used cooking oils, including sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils.
Arachidonic acid (AA) of the omega-6 series is found in egg yolk, meats in general, particularly organ meats, and other animal-based foods.
Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as found in today’s Western diets, promote a number of serious conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA’s (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects.
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