Why are essential fatty acids so essential? I know that if taken less then it would cause diseases, but what metabolic role do they play? Are their importance is just because of their structural role?
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Essential fatty acids consist of two main EFAs - Omega 3 (Linoleic acid) and Omega 6 (Linolenic acid).
These two play vital roles in the following:
- Growth and development
- Brain functioning
- Skin health
- Hair growth
- Reproductive system health
- Cell membrane integrity.
The fact that are bodies can't make them makes them very important in our diet. They are most important in our cell membranes.
Omega 3 is an amazing anti-flammatory. It does this by blocking the inflammation pathways in the cell.
We need more Omega 3 than 6 - about a ratio of 2:1.
This is a pretty good page if you want more information.