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Encyclopedia > Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids are fatty acids that are required in the human diet. This means they cannot be synthesized by the body from other fatty acids and must be obtained from food.


These fatty acids were originally designated as Vitamin F, until it was realized that they must be classified with the fats.


Linolenic acid, the shortest chain omega-3 fatty acid, and linoleic acid, the shortest chain omega-6 fatty acid, are essential fatty acids. The most common fatty acids of each class are linolenic (18:3), EPA (20:5), DHA (22:6) for omega-3 and linoleic (18:2) and arachidonic (20:4) for omega-6.


Some of the food sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are fish and shellfish, flaxseed (linseed), soya oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, hemp oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.


Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses.


See also:

Some text in this article was originally taken from the public domain resource at http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Bulletins/faq.html#4-9-4


External links

  • Fats You Need -- Essential Fatty Acids (http://www.benbest.com/health/essfat.html)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Arachidonic acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (318 words)
Chemically, arachidonic acid is a carboxylic acid with a 20-carbon chain and four cis double bonds; the first double bond is located at the sixth carbon from the omega end.
Arachidonic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is present in the phospholipids (especially phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylinositides) of membranes of the body's cells, and is highly enriched in the brain.
Arachidonic acid is freed from phospholipid molecule by the enzyme phospholipase A2.
Essential fatty acid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (831 words)
the lipoxins from ω-6 EFAs and resolvins from ω-3 (in the presence of aspirin, downregulating inflammation.)
Some of the food sources of ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids are fish and shellfish, flaxseed (linseed), soya oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, hemp oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.
Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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