|Facts About Essential Fatty Acids
fatty acids are essential to the health of the body as it needs certain of these to
maintain good health. Because we cannot make them, these fats are called Essential Fatty
Acids (EFAs). Research has shown that EFAs positively affect the bodys internal
functions, including circulation, blood pressure, inflammations, joint integrity, and the
immune system. EFAs are also used by the body to produce powerful, hormone-like compounds
called Prostaglandins, which regulate cellular activity.
Over 30 different Prostaglandins have been isolated, each with highly specific
functions. These functions range from muscle tone to circulation to ensuring oxygen
availability to the tissues. Prostaglandins have a very short life-span, which is why the
body needs an abundant supply of EFAs.
There are several types of essential fatty acids. Among them are the omega-3 and the
omega-6. Omega-3s are extremely important as they comprise thirty percent of certain
membranes in nerve cells in the brain. The best sources of omega-3 EFAs are found
primarily from cold-water fish oils or in flaxseed. Linolenic Acid (LNA) is an omega-3
fatty acid, and its essentialness lies in the fact that it cannot be made in the body and
must therefore be consumed.
Omega-6 fatty acids affect the balance and equilibrium of the body. The omega-6 fatty
acids are primarily plant derived oils and the best sources are Borage Oil and Primrose
Oil. Linoleic Acid (LA) is an omega-6 fatty acid and like LNA, it cannot be produced in
the body and must therefore be consumed.
Excerpt from lecture by Dr. Steven Whiting, Director, Institute of
Reproduced with permission.