Essential Fatty Acids17.09.2008
by Life Enthusiast Staff
|Linoleic Acid (LA) Deficiency Symptoms:||Alpha Linolenic Acid (LNA) Deficiency Symptoms:|
Prolonged absence of LA from diet is fatal.
These symptoms can be reversed by adding LNA back to the diet from which it was missing.
Other symptoms that can result from LNA (or w3) deficiency include:
|All of the deficiency symptoms (except death) can be reversed by adding Lipoic Acid back to the diet from which it was missing.
LA is found in safflower, sunflower, hemp, soybean, walnut, pumpkin, sesame, and flax. Safflower and sunflower are the richest source of LA.
|These are not considered 'classic' symptoms of w3 deficiency, but often respond remarkably well to w3 supplementation. LNA is five times more unstable than LA and modern people consume 10 times less LNA then LA. LNA is found in flax, hemp seed, canola (rape seed), soybean, walnut and dark-green leaves. Flax seed is the richest source, containing over 50% of its fatty acids as LNA. Chia and kukui (candlenut) oils contains about 30% LNA. Hemp seed oil contains about 20% LNA. Pumpkin seed oil contains between 1% and 15% LNA. Canola oil contains up to 10% LNA and Walnut oil contains between 3% and 11% LNA.|
What do EFA accomplish in our systems?
EFA Functions: "...EFAs are involved with producing life energy in our bodies from food substances, and moving that energy throughout our systems. They govern growth, vitality, and mental state. They hook up oxygen, electron transport, and energy in the process of oxidation. Oxidation, the central and most important moment-to-moment living process in our body, is the `burning\' of food to produce the energy required for life processes."1 EFAs are also important in oxygen transfer, hemoglobin production, and control of nutrients through cell membranes. They markedly shorten recovery time from fatigue. And EFAs are also key in preventing damage from hard fats. EFAs are anti-sticky and tend to disperse them. EFAs play a part in almost every function of our body, far too many to list here.
FATS - What are the real issues?
A lot has been said about fats, much of it confusing, some of it misleading. You should have a clear, sensible approach to fat consumption in a healthy diet by following these simple guidelines:
- Good balance in diet between LA and LNA fat acids is 2 : 1
- Use only cold pressed non-refined oils, (keep refrigerated) and non heated non exposed to the light or air
- No margarine (margarine is made from hydrogenated fats, and refined oils, that why it is hard )
- No Hydrogenated Fat (it is made from trans fatty acids)
- No Oils from Supermarket, they are heated and refined (EFAs are removed) only oils that have the EFAs removed can be stored in transparent bottles in the usual shelves (out of refrigerators)
- The most dangerous fats are typically found in margarine, shortenings, and heated oils.
What is hydrogenated fat?
Hydrogenation is a way of making vegetable oil harden at room temperature. Small particles of nickel or copper are added and the mix is heated to very high temperatures under pressure for up to eight hours while hydrogen gas is injected. This process destroys the essential fatty acids in the oil and replaces them with deformed trans fatty acids. These trans fats formed by hydrogenation are unnatural and as a result the human body is not well-equipped to deal with them. They also compete with essential fatty acids for absorption in the body. This blocks or delays the work of the essential fatty acids, creating deficiencies and imbalance throughout the metabolism, including fatty deposits in the arteries.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Chemical Formulae
Linoleic Acid (LA) and is a poly-unsaturated 18 carbon fatty acid with two double bonds in the middle that is missing 4 hydrogen atoms, all on one side. The first double bond occurs after the 6th carbon atom. Because of this, LA is sometimes referred to as the W6 EFA. Because of the four missing hydrogen atoms, LA is more bent than Oleic Acid, giving it a melting temperature of 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 Celsius). LA is quite unstable, reacting with light and oxygen.
Alpha Linolenic Acid (LNA) is an 18 carbon fatty acid with three double bonds at the 3, 6, and 9 carbon positions. LNA is missing 6 hydrogen atoms, again all from one side. Because of the first double bond occurring at the 3rd carbon atom, LNA is sometimes referred to as the W3 EFA. It is sometimes referred to as a super unsaturated fatty acid (SUFA), even though it is also poly-unsaturated. Because LNA is bent more than the others, it has the lowest melting point of the three, 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius). LNA is 5 times more unstable than LA and quickly goes rancid if exposed to light or oxygen. It is so unstable, in fact, that when it is pressed from the seeds that possess it, the pressing must be done in the total absence of light and oxygen. It must be handled in this way right through to the packaging stage, then quickly refrigerated or frozen.