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?

  • $\begingroup$ ''Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.'' $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Dec 12, 2016 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


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
  • Metabolism
  • 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.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks, but how do they achieve those functions? $\endgroup$
    – JM97
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ @JM97 editing... $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2016 at 12:03

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