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EFAs Menubar Essential Fatty Acids ( EFAs Omega-3 Omega-6 ) for Health. Fats of life - Not called essential for nothing

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) - "The Fats of Life"

EFAs are not called essential for nothing!

We need EFAs to function properlyRelated image

Not only are these fats NOT bad for us, we can't function without them! - since our bodies can not make them, we must obtain these polyunsaturated essential fatty acids from our diet. EFAs are typically founds in nuts, seeds,  vegetable and marine oils.  They have a physical form (somewhat like a curled caterpillar) that allows them to be used for specific functions, such as keeping cell membranes fluid and attracting electrons (energy) to them (because of the double carbon bonds at the bends). This model of Omega-3 EPA shows how its body is bent in different directions (because of its 5 double carbon bonds). In contrast, saturated fatty acids have straight bodies that can compact together.

But we don't need a lot of EFAs

Human body fat is largely made up of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids - We contain very little polyunsaturated fat. At the beginning of the 20th century, dietary fatty acids were mainly saturated or monounsaturated, primarily from butter, lard (pig fat), tallow (beef and mutton fat), coconut oil and olive oil.

THE EFA's of interest are: Omega-6 LA, Omega-3 ALA + all their "offspring"

Omega-3 fat family - Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexenoic Acid (DHA) (directly available in marine oil, or converted by enzymes in the body from Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) in such as walnuts or flax, hemp or chia seed oils)

Omega-6 fat family - Dihomo Gamma-Linolenic Acid (DGLA) (directly available in breast milk, or converted by enzymes in the body from Gamma-linolenic Acid (GLA) in evening primrose, borage or blackcurrant seed oils, or Linoleic Acid (LA) in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils) See "EFA Conversion Chart" to better understand how the body converts dietary EFA's from one to another and how having an imbalance of Omega-6 fats compared to Omega-3 fats affects the EFAs produced:

What's the Big Deal about EFAs?

Rather than list all that EFAs do, it may have been easier to mention what they don't do! - However, to give an idea, here's just a few of the many functions of EFAs . . .

Keep cells slippery so they don't stick together (i.e. clot)

Control inflammation

Activate bile flow for fat digestion

Raw materials for estrogen, Testosterone, other hormones

Precursor for mood hormone serotonin

Carry fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) in bloodstream

Slow carbohydrate absorption (balancing blood sugar levels)

Keep cell walls fluid (controls traffic in and out of cells)

“Research says if you increase omega-3's in the diet, you improve every major degenerative condition of our time.”

- Udo Erasmus PhD (who wrote the book on fats: “Fats that heal, Fats that kill”)

Some Health Benefits of Consuming Omega-3 fats

✔ Lowers cardiovascular risk factors
✔ Inhibits cancer growth and metastasis
✔ Increases INSULIN sensitivity
✔ Decreases inflammation/joint pain
✔ Improves bone mineral metabolism
✔ Raises energy levels, stamina performance
✔ Improves concentration, learning, calmness, behavior and IQ
✔ Speeds wound healing from injury, physical exertion, surgery
✔ Dampens symptoms of auto-immune diseases
✔ Aids weight management - Increasing fat burning, decreasing fat production, and increasing fat burn-off as heat (thermogenesis)

 

You may notice several symptoms if you are not getting enough EFAs

Charts of EFA Deficiency Symptoms

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