Fatty acids are the building blocks of the fat that is in our bodies and in the food we eat. During digestion, the body breaks down fats into fatty acids, which can then be absorbed into the blood. Fatty acid molecules are usually joined together in groups of three, forming a molecule called a triglyceride. Triglycerides are also made in our bodies from the carbohydrates that we eat.
Fatty acids have many important functions in the body, including energy storage. If glucose (a type of sugar) isn't available for energy, the body uses fatty acids to fuel the cells instead. Burning fat for energy is actually preferable and more sustainable for health. Essential fatty acids means that the body cannot produce the fatty acid itself, it has to be consumed in food. Strictly speaking, there are two essential fatty acids:
- LA – Linolenic acid (Omega-6)
- ALA – Alpha Linolenic acid (Omega-3)
- DHA – Docosahexaenoic acid (Omega 3 that can be a derivative of ALA. The fatty acid that best serves brain health)
- EPA – Eicosapentaenoic acid (Omega 3 that can also be a derivative of ALA and a good anti-inflammatory)
- AA – Arachidonic acid (an Omega-6 fatty acid that is also good for membrane flexibility and permeability, can be derived from LA)
- GLA – Gamma linolenic acid (an Omega-6 fatty acid, the human body produces GLA from LA. Food sources are black currant seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage and hemp seed oil)
Today Healthy Fatty Acid Deficiency is Epidemic.
Deficiency leads to:
- Musculoskeletal issues
- Endocrine issues
- Cardiovascular issues
- Immune issues
- Allergies and asthma
- Depression and other mood disorders
4. What Do Fatty Acids Do In The Body?
- Provide a source of energy (fats are the longer lasting fuel, the "logs" with carbs being the "kindling")
- Are important in the makeup of cell membranes (as you can see in the graphic ... the lipids, the cholesterol, the fatty acid tails ...)
- Are necessary for healthy liver function: building healthy cholesterol and bile
- Are required for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K
- Are required for the adequate use of proteins
- Serve as a protective lining for the organs of the body
- Play a role in slowing the absorption of food for proper energy regulation
- Are imperative to managing the inflammation process
- MAKE FOOD TASTE GOOD!