Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are nutritional elements, which our bodies cannot produce. They are as vital to us as vitamins and we need to ingest them from food sources. There are two main types of essential fatty acids:
* Omega 3 (fish oils & some plant oils)
* Omega 6 (plant oils)
What do they do?
They are needed as building blocks for key body structures, including cell membranes.
Omega 3 is responsible for cell health and cell regeneration. As every part of us consists of cells, each with it’s own membrane, an Omega 3 deficiency affects every part of us – blood, bones, organs, tissue, skin and hair. Many medical professionals believe that this has lead to the increase of what are known as ‘Western Degenerative Diseases’.
These include coronary heart disease, strokes, adult onset diabetes, allergies, behavioural disorders, high blood pressure and inflammatory ailments such as arthritis. (In fact, any ailment ending in ‘itis’ refers to a type of inflammatory condition.) Mental health issues including depression and Alzheimer’s have also been linked to Omega 3 deficiency.
Signs and symptoms of EFA deficiency :
* Skin problems: dry, eczema, dandruff, poor wound healing, sweating, loss of pigment, weak blood vessels/bruising, rough skin on upper arms and thighs. Cold peripheries.
* Organs/glands: kidneys enlarge, kidney failure, blood in the urine, fatty liver degeneration, wasting of salivary and tear glands, pancreas shrinks, subfertility.
* High cholesterol and impaired glucose metabolism.
* Hormone imbalances and PMS. Cystic breast disease.
* Allergies (atopic eczema, asthma)
* Learning disabilities, ADHD, Depression , Autism, and Behavioural disturbances. Higher risk for psychotic illnesses.