essential fatty acids

is also called vitamin F, and is composed of two fatty acids – that being linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid. (LA & LNA)

is also called vitamin F, and is composed of two fatty acids – that being linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid. (LA & LNA)

required for

The human body requires essential fatty acids for normal growth, behavior, maintenance of cell membranes, a working immune system as well as a balance in hormone levels.

Furthermore, the skin needs it for staying youthful and supple and is also required to utilize the energy contained in the fat stores in the body.

deficiency indications

A major deficiency may cause damage to the heart, as well as the kidneys and liver. Behavior disturbances may also result from a deficiency in the diet.

Hair loss and skin eczema have also been reported as well as excessive sweating.

A under-par immune system may result from a shortage of this nutrient which in turn may result in slow healing wounds, and susceptibility to infections etc.

Stiffness in joints may happen, and an under secretion of tear and saliva may be indicative of too little essential fatty acids in the diet.

It has also been suggested that it may have an influence on infertility in men and miscarriages in women.

Blood pressure may be elevated and the formation of blood clots may be an increased risk to contend with. 

dosage

The dosage underneath is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but be aware that that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward of serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.

toxicity

No toxicity has been reported in healthy individuals but people with health problems should be careful with taking any supplements.

People suffering from epilepsy should be careful of taking supplements of seed oils, as it can aggravate the problem, while people with blood disorders or a problem with bleeding should be careful of fish oil supplements.

symptoms of high intake

Should you be taking a supplement of essential fatty acids, it i would be recommended that you first discuss it with your health professional.

best used with

To ensure maximum absorption, make sure that you have sufficient vitamin B3, B6, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, biotin as well as the minerals zinc, magnesium and selenium in your system.

extra needed when and if

Should you be suffering from dry chapped skin, dry eyes, cold hands and feet, bruise easily, have frequent infections or brittle nails and dry hair  it may be worth your while to check your dietary intake of essential fatty acids.

enemy of nutrient

Light, air and processing should be well controlled and limited storage time is indicated.

other interesting points

When buying a commercial supplement ensure that you get it from a trusted source, since this nutrient is not very stable, and 

food sources

It is found in grains, nuts and seeds soybeans, sunflower seed, flax seed, walnuts, pumpkin seeds etc while oil from salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel, as well as borage, blackcurrant and evening primrose oil can substitute some of the functions of the LA and LNA.

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