Essential fatty acids are called essential because the body cannot manufacture certain fatty acids unless they are derived from foods containing them. The polyunsaturated omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids the body needs for optimal health and preventing disease are derived from plant oils such as raw nuts, seeds, whole grains, edible flowers from herbs, fish and krill oils.
Fatty acid supplements may include one or more of the above sources of fatty acids. The most common supplement sources of omega 3’s and 6’s are listed below.
- Fish oils (eicosa-pentanoic acid or EPA)
- Krill oil (derived from tiny crustaceans that are a food source for marine mammals and fish)
- Flaxseed oil
- Evening primrose oil
- Borage oil
I have also reviewed a lot of other dietary supplements, if you are interested, you might check them out.
How the Body Uses Essential Fatty Acids
Required by every type of cell in the body for maintaining the quality and function of cell membranes and inner organelle structures where the body’s energy is produced, new proteins are synthesized, DNA gene sequencing is repaired, and cell replication and cell differentiation is initiated.
Required for the turnover and manufacture of every type of new cell, including the formation of hormones, immune cells, lubricating body fluids that protect joints, cartilage and connective tissues, and required to build, protect and maintain nerve and brain cell structures and functions.
Help provide sustained fuel efficiency throughout the day.
Help nourish and maintain the strength and pliability of blood vessels and their cell membranes, including those of the heart and brain for maintaining safe blood pressure, particularly during exercise when extra pressure is exerted against blood vessel walls, and help maintain muscle tone and flexibility.
Improve brain to nerve transmissions.
Help prevent abnormal blood clotting.
Are the precursors for the synthesis of the thousands of hormones that circulate and monitor the various body systems and regulate biochemical processes such as blood sugar, the immune system, pain nerve receptors, the fight or flight response, growth hormone, reproductive hormones, calcium regulation, blood pressure, heart rate, brain and nervous system functioning.
Are essential in the maintenance of photoreceptor cells in the eyes and the quality of the skin.
Are required for assisting in converting sun exposure on the skin to vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) for stronger bones, immune function, hair growth, regulating body temperature, and forming protective, lubricating joint fluids.
Help lower the amounts of lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Essential for manufacturing the protective coating of the nerve cell’s axon, the myelin sheath, which function is to help ensure correct impulse signalling between neurons throughout the nervous system that allows optimal brain functioning, quick reflex motor skills, and the activation and deactivation of billions of cell signalling processes throughout life.
Not all fats are created equal, for there are fats that are essential for optimal health, and there are processed or altered fats that result in damaging it. Fats that have been molecularly damaged or chemically or heat processed put you at risk for several degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease, endocrine or glandular malfunctioning, diabetes, and various inflammatory conditions. Such health-damaging fats are known as trans fats.
Consuming trans fats interferes with cell functioning. Trans fats form free radicals that have been linked to cancer, heart disease, hormonal disruptions and glandular disorders, brain and nervous system disorders and other degenerative diseases. It is therefore critical for you to provide your body with fats that have their normal biocompatible molecular configurations intact, and avoid the altered fats with their unnatural molecular structures which the body perceives as foreign, invasive substances.
Trans fats therefore should be absent from food choices, and definitely should not be present in a nutritional supplement.
All fatty acids contained in supplements therefore must be kept refrigerated in tightly closed containers to preserve the quality of their essential fatty acids.
Both fatty acid supplements and whole foods containing essential fats must not be left exposed to air, for their highly vulnerable molecular structures make them prone to the undesirable and toxic oxidative process where volatile, free radical compounds damage cells that compose all body systems.