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?
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.