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Online Wellness Community Natural Health and Anti-Aging News
Online Wellness Community Natural Health and Anti-Aging News
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Essential Fatty Acids

GOOD FATS YOUR BODY NEEDS

Introduction

There is no doubt most diets are deficient in good fats and too high in bad fats. Essential fatty acid supplements are one of the categories gaining favor even among the most conservative medical professionals. Fish oil is the most popular but super plant seed oils are gaining favor and have superior attributes in many respects including being sustainable. Super seed combination products with chia, hemp, black current seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and others are now being combined with sprouted super grains like quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat and beans like lentil and garbanzo to make truly nutritionally potent superfood blends that compliment concentrated raw green food products we are big fans of.

The quality of good fat supplements (Omega Fatty Acid supplements) varies greatly and there is some controversy, fairly normal in the health industry, regarding whether taking fish oil, krill oil, or other Omega 3 fatty acid supplements (DHA and EPA) is beneficial.

Read this article by Ron Schmidt, ND, on Essential Fatty Acids, addressing these controversies and suggesting unadulterated Cod Liver Oil as a good Omega Fatty Acid supplement source.

This informational video by Professor Holub and Dr. Shapiro is short and enjoyable to watch: 0 Essential Fatty Acids

If you did not click on the above link, let us again emphasize you should read our featured article by Dr. Ron Schmidt. Visit his profile to understand why his advice should be weighted very heavily.

There are even some researchers going against the weight of scientific evidence suggesting concentrated Omega 3 supplements may actually be harmful to cells and cause some measure of toxicity. For an example see Professor Peskins white paper alleging only “parent fatty acids – LA and ALA – are beneficial and concentrated omega 3 supplements may cause more harm than good. Also watch Dr. Sheridan’s video discussing some problems from too much EPA supplementation and his preference of taking plant sourced parent Omegas.

Also in 2010 interest in use of coconut derived waters and oils occurred due to increased clinical study evidence that coconut fats may be one of the best sources. Watch this video on coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acid compositions impact on brain function.

OWC’s research team favors taking superfoods daily to help assure you get the range and composition of essential fatty acids that you need. These high quality superfoods concentrates generally have ingredients such as spirulina, hemp, flax and other plants known for having mother nature’s array of essential fatty acids as well as essential amino acids that your body needs to obtain from food or supplements to stay healthy.

Discussion

Essential fatty acids, like essential amino acids, cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through food or supplement sources.

In the body, essential fatty acids are primarily used to produce hormone-like substances that regulate a wide range of functions including:

  • blood pressure
  • blood clotting
  • blood lipid levels
  • the immune response
  • the inflammation response to injury or infection.

As a result eating a diet or taking supplements rich in essential fatty acids is believed to help support:

  • a healthy heart
  • a healthy brain
  • better joint and connective tissue
  • improved skin
  • help maintain a healthy weight
  • and more.

The human body produces all but two of the fatty acids it needs. These two, linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), are widely distributed in plant oils. In addition, fish oils contain the longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) anddocosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

DHA is the superstar of Omega 3 fatty acids.  It is linked with decreased risk of heart attacks and strokes. DHA also supports memory and vision. The Memory Improvement with DHA Study (MIDAS) showed that 900 mg a day given to those 60 and over resulted in a three-year reversal of memory loss. If you’re pregnant, DHA is critical for your baby’s brain and eye development; there’s also some evidence that this omega-3 may protect against postpartum depression.

Other marine oils, such as from krill and seal also contain significant amounts of docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), which is also an omega-3 fatty acid. Although the body to some extent can convert ALA into these longer-chain omega-3 fatty acids, the omega-3 fatty acids found in marine oils help fulfill the requirement of essential fatty acids.

For a discussion on the PROS AND CONS OF ANIMAL VERSES PLANT SOURCES inclusing a discussion of fish oil vs krill oil, CLICK HERE. For information on plant verses animal source proteins, CLICK HERE.

They are essential in the human diet because there is no synthetic mechanism for them. Humans can easily make saturated fatty acids or monounsaturated fatty acids with a double bond at the omega-9 position, but do not have the enzymes necessary to introduce a double bond at the omega-3 position or omega-6 position.

The essential fatty acids are important in several human body systems, including the immune system and in blood pressure regulation.

The brain has increased amounts of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid derivatives and supplementing OMEGA 3 intake for children and adults is increasingly common for brain and behavior performance objectives. Changes in the levels and balance of these fatty acids due to a typical Western diet rich in omega-6 and poor in omega-3 fatty acids is alleged to be associated with depression and behavioral change, including violence. Changing to a diet richer in omega-3 fatty acids, or consuming supplements, has been associated with reduced violent behavior and increased attention span, but the mechanisms for the effect are still unclear. Fatty acids play an important role in the life and death of cardiac cells because they are essential fuels for mechanical and electrical activities of the heart.

CLICK HERE for more information on heart disease and the role of fatty acids..

Featured Member Experts (click on them to view their profiles)