Essential Fatty Acids

Written by Norene Anderson
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Essential fatty acids are just that - essential. They are necessary in the diet for the proper growth, maintenance, and functioning of the body. They have an important role in fat transport and metabolism and in maintaining the function and integrity of cellular membranes. It is also necessary for normal functioning of the reproductive and endocrine systems and for breaking up cholesterol deposits on arterial walls.

A deficiency of essential fatty acids (EFA) causes changes that result in decreased growth and other disorders. Some of the symptoms include brittle and lusterless hair, dandruff, allergies, and skin problems. As you can see, it is very important to the overall good health to have the right amount. Too much or too little can cause physical problems. Most people fall on the side of too little. In that case, a supplement is needed.

Find Natural Essential Fatty Acids

The best dietary sources are natural vegetable oils, wheat germ, and fish oils. The most common natural supplement is the fish oil. Fatty fish such as albacore tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids. It has been shown that frequent fish consumption or supplementation with fish oils is effective in reducing the risk or heart disease.


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