Thread: Essential Fatty Acids
07-20-2004, 04:29 AM #1
Essential Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are the building blocks in which fats and oils are composed. The fatty acids that are necassary for health and cannot be made by the body are called essential fatty acids. EFA's must be supplied through the diet.
Essential fatty acids have desirable effects on many disorders. They improve the skin and hair, reduce blood pressure, aid in the prevention of arthritis, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduce the risk of blood clot formation. They are beneficial for candidiasis, cardiovascular disease, eczema, and psoriasis. Found in high concentrations in the brain, EFA's aid in the transmission of nerve impulses and are needed for the normal development and functioning of the brain. A deficiency of essential fatty acids can lead to a decreased ability to learn and recall information.
Every living cell in the body needs EFA's. They are essential to rebuilding and producing new cells. EFA's are also used by the body to produce prostagladins, hormone-like substances that act as chemical messengers and regulators of various body processes.
There are 2 basic categories of EFA's, designated omega-3 and omega-6, based on there chemical structures. Omega-3 EFA's, including alpha-linolenic and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are found in deep water fish, fish oil, and certain vegatable oils, among them canola, flaxseed, and walnut oil. Omega-6 EFA's, which include linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids, are found primarily in raw nuts, seeds, and legumes, and in unsaturated vegatable oils such as borage, grapeseed, sesame, and soybean oils. In order to supply these EFA's they must be in pure liquid or supplement form and must not be subjected to heat either in processing or cooking. Heat destroys EFAs. Worse it creates dangerous free radicals.
The daily requirement of EFA's is satisfied by an amount equivalent to 10 to 20 percent of your total caloric intake. The most essential EFA is linoleic acid.
07-30-2004, 06:48 AM #2Associate Member
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- Oct 2001
- in Denial
You forgot DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) also from cold fish oils. Not as important as EPA but another type of EFA.
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