What are Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)?
Essential fatty acids are long chain triglycerides that are essential for the overall health and well being of the human body. The word essential means you require it to stay alive just like you need air to breath. In fact essential fatty acids should really be thought of as vitamins even though we don’t call them vitamins.
Likewise the medium and short chain triglycerides are also very important for our health. The body can make these fats, however, we must get the essential omega 3 and 6 through our diets.
Could our epidemic with blood fats actually be a problem with not getting enough good fats in our diet?
Our health crisis today has increased at the same rate as the introduction of processed fats, trans fats and hydrogenated fats into our diets. As a result degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease and auto-immune diseases have increase almost parallel.
In order to make healthy cells we need to eat the correct good fats. Otherwise our cells and ultimately our bodies will be made from fake processed fats and will not function properly. Because of this there is certainly a connection between circulatory issues, immune problems, cancer and processed fats.
Trans, hydrogenated and processed fats
Hard fats are called saturated fats. Natural saturated fats are coconut oil, palm oil and butter. Hydrogenated fats are liquid fats that have hydrogen pumped into them to make them hard. Crisco was the first of these fake hydrogenated fats and it wasn’t even meant for human consumption. It was actually made for candle making.
Trans, hydrogenated and processed fats are artificial and are distorted in shape. So when our body tries to use distorted trans fats to make cells this is when our cells are created in the wrong shape and do not function properly. They are the real player in degenerative diseases like heart disease.
Udo Erasmus book on essential fatty acids. Listen to the shown where he appears as a guest on Monday 25 February 2013.
Omega 3 Alpha Linolenic Acid – ALA
ALA alpha linolenic acid is the PARENT ESSENTIAL omega 3 fatty acid. We absolutely must get this essential fat through our diets.
Omega 6 Linoleic Acid – LA
LA linoleic acid is the PARENT ESSENTIAL omega 6 fatty acid that we must get through our diets. Sea buckthorn oil, evening primrose oil, hemp seed oil, flax seeds and chia seeds all contain parent essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6.
Omega 3 DHA Docosahexaenoic Acid and EPA Eicosapentaenoic Acid.
Fish oil contains two Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. However they are not essential. They are derivatives of the Parent Essential omega 3 ALA. They are still important and have benefits.
Omega 6 Gamma Linolenic Acid – GLA
GLA is not essential but it is good for topical and internal applications because it is an especially powerful anti inflammatory. Borage is the best source of GLA or star flower oil and hemp seed will have GLA too. GLA is very helpful for a lot of health condition because it is involved in the inflammation process and balance. Omega 6 doesn’t get converted to protaglandin but GLA does and that’s why its so beneficial especially for dry skin and woman’s health.
Omega 7 Palitoleic Acid – PA
Palitoleic acid is not essential but has an interesting mechanism on how it activate and burns fat which has anti inflammatory effects. Omega7 is a fat that helps you burn fat. Omega 7 is becoming more popular because of its many benefits like statin drug effects. palmitoleic acid is the best one need to make sure its pure. Also has benefits for over eating and weight loss because it is a fat burning fat. more body fat mean more inflammation.
Omega 9 Oleic Acid – OA
Oleic acid is an mono unsaturated fat first discovered in olive oil. It is not essential but it is important for cardiovascular health, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and for brain health. Oleic acid can be found in olive oil, sunflower and lots of nut oils.
What ratio of Essential Fatty Acids should you take?
Both omega 3 and 6 are equally essential so we should try to get an equal ratio of essential omega 3 and 6. There is no way to know how many to take because our EFA needs change as our bodies develop and as we encounter different stresses and strains in our lives.
If you have a health condition take as many EFA’s as you need to feel or see results.
Too much omega 6?
Our diets at the moment have high levels of omega 6. Heart disease, prostate, breast, lung, colon and skin cancer are all associated with high intakes of omega 6. Some people maybe getting a 15:1 ration of omega 6 to omega 3, which is a massive difference. This comes from the oils we consume, vegetable, sun flower, safflower, corn and soy oils.
Most nutritionist will say not to bother supplementing with omega 6 because we get them from the grain we eat in our diet. However if we process, heat and cook those oils then we might not be getting enough omega 6.
Why are EFA’s so unstable?
Un-saturated liquid oils are oxygen magnets and this is why they are so unstable. Saturated fats are more stable and don’t react with oxygen as much.
Oils and fats can be damaged with light, heat and oxygen. They should be fresh and should be kept in dark bottle in the fridge. They should not be fried or heated.
Omega 3 are harder to get. Un-saturated fats are the liquid fats, like vegetable, grain and seed oil. These fats are not stable. They are high energy which makes them unstable.
They can go rancid very quickly and easily while containing free radicals. Some liquid oils are completely dead because they have their nutrients taken out and this is an attempt to keep the oil stable.
The word rancid means the oil has been oxidised which will further accelerate your own oxidation. So make sure your oil is fresh. Vitamin E can protect fats especially EFA’s
Essential fatty acids and the cell membrane.
Our whole body relies on communication between cells and essential fatty acids are critical for the structure of the cell membrane. The membrane allows the cells to signal to other cells and this is the basic function of health in the human body.
The chemical bonds that essential fatty acids have give them their electrical and magnetic nature which is perfect for our cell membranes to do their job. Dietary fats have extra strong chemical bonds and therefore have lots of electrical energy. The word omega means a double bond which is important for human health.
All disease is cell disease. Fundamentally the cell membrane is the determining factor in the health of the cell. EFA’s role in the cell membrane structure is integral. Cancer cell for example do not have a proper cell membranes and do function like normal cells.
Eating foods like eggs provides all the building blocks we need for our own cells and any tissue in the body that is building requires EFA’s which includes the bones, joints and skin.
Prostaglandins and Essential Fatty Acids.
Prostaglandins are key player in all biological processes throughout the body especially in the balance of inflammation and anti-inflammation in the whole body.
The cell membrane is a storage place for essential fatty acids which then get activated into prostaglandins. EFA’s can then be thought of as in-active hormones or precursors to hormones ready to be activated. This is one of the most important roles for essential fatty acids because the inflammation process underlines all disease.
All disease follows excessive chronic out of balance inflammation. So we can control our inflammation process by using essential fatty acids, therefore we can address our own health challenges.
Aspirin and a lot of prescription drugs act on suppressing the action of prostaglandins as well as shutting down prostaglandin synthesis. Obviously this comes with a long list of awful side effects because we are suppressing our bodies natural inflammation process.
Gastrointestinal bleeding is one of the leading causes of death from these kind of prescription drugs.
Heart disease is an inflammatory issue in the blood not a cholesterol issue. We can take care of this inflammation using essential fats and not use poisonous blood thinning drugs.
Developing Babies, Women’s Health and Essential Fatty Acids.
Developing babies in the womb and breast feeding infants rely on EFAs to build healthy eyes and vision. It is also vitally important for the development of the immune system, nervous system and brain. This makes for better better eye to hand coordination and other motor skills.
Formula does not always have the essential omega 3 and 6, and if they do they will probably be processed, oxidised and rancid.
Essential fatty acids will be helpful with menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms. EFA’s and prostaglandins and are responsible for maintaining optimum oestrogen levels in the body.
Many women probably think menstrual cramps and PMS are part and parcel of the menstrual cycle. They should not be part and parcel of the menstrual cycle and are actually a sign that EFA’s are deficient of not being absorbed properly.
Dry Skin and Essential Fatty Acids.
No one should have dry skin. Dry or thinning skin is the body’s cry for essential fatty acids. EFA malabsorption and deficiencies are the main reasons why skin problems appear.
Skin problems like eczema, psoriasis and dry skin means we have skin cells that are not functioning properly. We can treat our external skin issues by using internal EFA’s which are critical for skin health.
Dry Skin, psoriasis and eczema are not external issues and putting moisturisers on the skin is only a temporary fix.
There are only two fats that the skin cannot make and these are the essential omega 3 and 6. Using EFA’s internally will also allow you to NOT use moisturisers and lotions as these suppress your skins natural moisture factors in the first place. No bodies skin should be dry and no one should have to use a moisturiser.
Acne, oily skin and pimples.
There is a major link to acne, breakouts and pimples formation to essential fatty acids deficiencies.
It seems counter intuitive to take more fats in your diet if you have oily skin. However without the correct essential fats our pores can become clogged with sticky shiny sebum.
Skin cells can not make healthy cell membranes without the correct the essential fats. This means they can not function properly and this is also a cause for acne and pimples formation. The bacteria that normally live on the skin then start feeding on the excess oil and sebum on the skin causing acne.
The Endo-cannabinoid system (ECS), Hemp Oil and essential Fatty Acids
short description about ECS
A class of molecules formed when the body metabolises omega 3 fatty acids are called endo-cannabinoids and these cannabinoids could inhibit cancer growth and spread. Essential fatty acids stimulate and act as precursors for endo-cannabinoids in our bodies.
Deficiencies in EFA’s will effect your endo-cannabinoid system. Supplementing with EFA’s will support your endo-cannabinoid system which we now know is essential for the overall health of the body.
Epanova and Lovaza or pharmaceutical made Omega 3
The pharmaceutical drug companies have their own patented version of omega 3 so that they can sell it to your doctors and they can dispense it to their patients.
This is the medical model scam in a nut shell.
This is absurd because you can just take omega 3 fatty acids supplements from the supermarket or any health store. Some doctors will even have the cheek to tell you not to take EFA’s while your on these drugs.
Our natural drive for fats, salt and sugar
The drive for fats and salt is hard wired into our bodies because it is extremely important for the bio-chemistry of our body and as a result the food industry takes advantage of this drive for fat.
Starchy food contains lots of holes which suck up the oil to create a crispy texture when cooked. Add together with salt and sugar and this gives rise to snack food industry.
You can satisfy your fat and sugar craving by eating more good fats, EFA’s and more protein. Moreover you can not get fat by taking essential fatty acids. Therefore once you have met your body’s needs for fat you will turn off your appetite.