Essential Fatty Acids
Dietary fats include primarily, Triglycerides, Cholesterol and fatty acids. Fatty acids are used for energy by the cells or modified into phospholipids to be incorporated in the cell membranes. Some fatty acids are used in lipoprotein synthesis to shuttle cholesterol and other fats in and out from the cell or stored for later use. Fatty acids can be divided into two groups, saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids, the latter include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated also known as essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
Two major essential fatty acids are known, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (Omega 3) and linoleic acid (LA) (Omega 6), both called parent essential oils (PEO), a term coined by Professor Brian Peskin to differentiate fully functional EFA’s from adulterated, not fully functional EFA’s. The word essential means absolutely required for human health, cannot by synthesized by human and therefore, it must come with the food we eat. It must be considered or looked at as Vitamins and/or minerals.
Major Omega 6 EFA derivatives (metabolites) include Arachidonic acid (AA), Gamma Linolenic acid (GLA) and Di-Homo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA). Major Omega 3 EFA derivatives (metabolites) include Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). At least 95% of EFA’s stay in the parent form in the cells while less than 5% are converted to the derivatives.
Many of the sources of polyunsaturated fatty acid in our diet have been fully or partially hydrogenated (saturated) to make cholesterol free substitute in food products (margarine, vegetable shortening, etc.), or used for deep frying which oxidizes and alters the fatty acid beyond the ability of the body enzymes to recognize them. The processing of commercial oil products eliminated to a great deal, the natural health benefit of vegetable oils. Commercially prepared oils are not as healthy as they are portrayed to be.
Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids are the building blocks of the cells wall and act as oxygen magnets or sponges, grabbing oxygen from the blood stream and transferring it through the cell’s walls into the cells themselves. They also keep the cells walls flexible and permeable. Humans need EFA’s to manufacture and repair cell membranes enabling the cells to obtain optimum nutrition, to expel harmful waste products and to produce local hormones.
The combination of Omega 3 and Omega 6 are involved in the following body functions:
- Appetite: less craving, less hunger, better appetite fulfillment.
- Heart health: flexible, clean arteries, fast blood flow, lower blood pressure and lower lipids.
- Blood: blood thinning preventing platelet adhesion and decreasing the chance of clotting and coagulation.
- Anti-inflammation: less arthritis, less joint pain and swelling, faster healing.
- Endurance: more energy, less fatigue, great intensity and faster recuperation.
- Brain health: better clarity, better focus, improved memory and fewer headaches.
- Hormones: better sexual function, smoother pregnancies, less PMS.
- Beauty: less dandruff, less cellulite, less eczema and healthier skin and hair.
- Diabetes: less sweet craving, lower blood sugar, less neuropathy, retinopathy and nephropathy.
- Immune system: stronger immune system, less colds, faster recovery from infection, and protects cell from carcinogens and all secondary causes of cancer.
The ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 should be between 1:1 and 3:1 and it should not exceed 4:1. Deficiency or an imbalance of EFA’s ratio can lead to serious health conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity, cancer, depression, accelerated aging and dementia among many others. It is also believed that proper Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio reduces platelet aggregation, coagulation and thrombosis.
Highest source of Omega 3 EFA are Flax seed oil, which has the highest linolenic content of any food (55%), Pumpkin seed oil (16%), and Fish oil. The highest sources of Omega 6 are Evening primrose oil (74%), Safflower oil (65%), Sunflower seed oil (40%), and Sesame oil (41%). Soybean oil and Cotton seed oil should be avoided.
Fish oil is not recommended and should be reserved for individuals with elevated Triglycerides level or Macular Degeneration due to heavy metal contamination (mercury, lead and cadmium), fat soluble pesticide contamination, increased bleeding time (extra caution should be given for patients using blood thinners or prior to surgeries), increased insulin resistance (especially in diabetic patients) and burping up a fishy taste. Excessive consumption of fish oil also decreases vitamin E levels.
If you need to learn more about Essential Fatty Acids, watch Dr. Habib’s video on Essential Fatty Acids, “What you don’t know might kill you”.
Both the Treolife VM and Treolife EFA are available for purchase at our online store.
Revised on May 24th, 2020.