The deficiency of essential fatty acids leads to a negative effect to body health. Essential Fatty Acids is very important for health. If we don’t get enough essential fatty acids, our cell membranes become pro-inflammatory, weak and can break.

deficiency of essential fatty acids

Deficiency of essential fatty acids

When we don’t get enough essential fatty acids, means we have deficiency of essential fatty acids, our cell membranes become pro-inflammatory, weak and can break. Cell membrane integrity is absolutely critical to overall health, which is why essential fatty acids should be made a priority.

The two primary EFAs are known as linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).

These Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are necessary for the following processes:
*Formation of healthy cell membranes
*Proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system
*Proper thyroid and adrenal activity
*Hormone production
*Regulation of blood pressure, liver function, immune and inflammatory responses
*Regulation of blood clotting: Omega-6 FAs encourage blood clot formation,whereas Omega-3 oil reduces clotting. The ideal is to achieve a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 Fatty acids
*Crucial for the transport and breakdown of cholesterol
*Support healthy skin and hair

Deficiency of essential fatty acids is rare, occurring most often in infants fed diets deficient in EFAs. Signs include scaly dermatitis, alopecia, thrombocytopenia, and, in children, intellectual disability. Diagnosis is clinical. Dietary replenishment of EFAs reverses the deficiency.

Please see: What is Essential Fatty Acids.

How long does it take to develop deficiency of essential fatty acids?

In order to develop deficiency of essential fatty acids, dietary intake is workable. Even small amounts of EFAs can prevent deficiency of essential fatty acids. Cow’s milk has only about 25% of the linoleic acid in human milk, but when ingested in normal amounts, it has enough linoleic acid to prevent EFA deficiency. Total fat intake of people in many developing countries may be very low, but the fat is often vegetable based, with large amounts of linoleic acid and enough linolenic acid to prevent EFA deficiency.

In patients who were given total parenteral nutrition containing fat-free, glucose-amino acid mixtures, biochemical signs of deficiency of essential fatty acids developed in about 7 to 10 days.

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