Essential Fatty Acids
Our bodies need a variety of different fats to function well and stay healthy. The most important of these fats are a-Linolenic acid and Linolenic acid, or Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known as essential fatty acids. These fats are not produced by the body and have to be received through the food we eat or nutritional supplements. It’s easy to develop a deficiency if you’re not being careful to get them through your diet.
How do they work?
Essential fatty acids work to build cell membranes all across the body and help keep blood clotting under control. The function of cell receptors in the membranes is also affected by Omega-3 fatty acids, and when cell membranes have enough of them then nutrients are allowed to flow better through the flexible cell structure, permitting wastes to pass through more smoothly and keeping it from getting back into the cell.
What conditions are they good for?
Essential fatty acids are beneficial for both the body and brain and have been shown to mildly reduce the symptoms of depression.
DHA, which is one of the essential fatty acids, is one of the main structural components of the retina of the eye. It can lower the risk of macular degeneration which causes vision loss and permanent damage to the eyes.
It is also key to optimal nutrition for pregnant women and young children, improving eyesight and boosting brainpower.
They decrease the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the world today, help reduce blood pressure levels, raise levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and prevent the clumping together of blood platelets.