Essential fatty acids are something we hear about all the time and I’ve written about before. However, I find that many people are still unsure about their role in our health so I thought I’d quickly answer some questions I’ve received. I don’t mean to go on and on about essential fatty acids but I do want everyone to realize how significant they are to healthy bodies.
To begin with, essential fatty acids are fats that the body is unable to make on its own – they must be ingested by eating plants or eating animals that consume plants. Fatty acids are needed to maintain cell membrane integrity and chemical transport that is involved in proper development of the central nervous system, energy production, cell communication, oxygen transport, and regulation of inflammation.
Long term deprivation of essential fatty acids has been strongly correlated to several disease conditions, including chronic disease such as arthritis and heart disease. Recent research is suggesting that altered essential fatty acid composition in the cell membrane reduces the transport of oxygen into the cells and therefore, increases the risk of cancer. Essential fatty acid deficiency can also contribute significantly to nervous system dysfunction due to the fact that there is a very high fat content in the nervous system, which is crucial for nerve signaling.
Less than optimal levels of essential fatty acids also wreak havoc on your appearance! They are crucial for good skin and healthy hair. People with deficiencies will often suffer from acne, premature wrinkles, hair loss, and dry skin to name just a few symptoms. Basically, essential fatty acids are necessary for healthy joints, brain, skin and heart. There’s no other way around it.
I encourage everyone to begin taking this supplement daily, if not already doing so. You really will be doing your body good! The optimal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids is probably 2:1 for most people. However, it is important to note if you are suffering from a chronic disease condition, dose considerations are critical to consider in your particular case. Low dosages have not been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of certain chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease or rheumatoid arthritis. In your specific case, you would probably want to undertake further testing such as the RBC fatty acid analysis. This will enable a prescribed patient specific dosage and would achieve optimal outcomes. Please feel free to contact me if you are uncertain about the dosage you should be taking or if you suffer from a chronic disease and would like further testing.
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