Essential Fatty Acids Supplements

Essential Fatty Acids Supplements - Definition of EFAs

Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that cannot be produced within our body from other components by any known chemical pathways, and therefore must be obtained from the diet or EFA supplements.

The term refers to fatty acids involved in biological processes, and not those which may just play a role as fuel.

There are two families of EFAs: ω-3 (or omega-3 or n−3) and ω-6 (omega-6, n−6). Fats from each of these families are essential, as the body can convert one omega-3 to another omega-3, for example, but cannot create an omega-3 from omega-6 or saturated fats.

Why Are EFAs Important?

EFAs are important components of cell membranes where they maintain proper fluidity and flexibility. They are also the building blocks for prostaglandins - chemical messengers that regulate cardiovascular function, brain and nervous system functions, fat metabolism, skin health, joint flexibility and inflammatory response.

Benefits of EFA Supplementation?

Experts agree the typical western diet is deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids. Most people do not eat enough food rich in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids like fish, walnuts or dark green leafy vegetables. On the Omega-6 side, most people get enough Omega-6 Linoleic Acid but they fall short with Omega-6 Gamma-Linoleic Acid (GLA) because it is rarely found in foods. Instead, the body must rely on its ability to make GLA from dietary Linoleic Acid. Unfortunately, stress, a poor diet, alcohol, advanced age and disease all interfere with the ability to make GLA.

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