Essential fatty acids: do they need?

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Probably, you already know that fats are an important part of nutrition not only for maintaining the form, but for health in general. All fats can be divided into two main groups: saturated and unsaturated. In addition, fats are divided into irreplaceable and replaceable. Essential fats should come into the body with food, because the body can not synthesize them.

In this article we will answer the questions:

  • What are essential fatty acids?

Alpha linolenic acid (omega-3) can be converted into:

  • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (omega-3)

Linoleic acid (omega-6) can be converted into:

  • gamma linolenic acid (omega-6)

Given the above facts, we can conclude that essential fatty acids are very important for our body. In fact, fatty acids are much more than listed above.

Alpha linolenic and linoleic acids can be metabolized to eicosanoids. Eicosanoids in turn can be divided into leukotrienes, prostaglandins and thromboxanes. In this article, we will only consider prostaglandins.

Prostaglandins are hormone-like chemicals that regulate cellular activity. Prostaglandins are divided into three groups, depending on which fatty acid they are metabolized.

Prostaglandins, included in the first group, are formed from gamma-linolenic acid. They are called "good" prostaglandins. The name is due to the fact that they improve blood circulation, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, among other functions. Perhaps the most important property is the prevention of the production of arachidonic acid by cells. This is important because arachidonic acid is of type 2, which is discussed below.

Prostaglandins like 1 are very important for bodybuilders because:

  • Increases the synthesis of proteins in muscle cells

Prostaglandins like 2 are called "bad." As mentioned above, they are formed from arachidonic acid. They contribute to sodium retention, inflammation and blood clots. Prostaglandins of this type increase the production of cortisone, which is a hormone of catabolic action. For those involved in bodybuilding, this is very harmful.

Formed from eicosapentaenoic acid. Prostaglandins of the 3 type are also referred to as "good", as they prevent the formation of prostaglandins such as 2.

It can not be said that prostaglandins like 2 are absolutely unnecessary. They help maintain testosterone levels. Do not get too hung up on "good" and "bad" prostaglandins. Your body is constantly working to ensure that everything in it is balanced. To predict how much fat you need to get to achieve a balance is impossible. As long as you get enough essential fatty acids, there is no need to think about "bad" and "good" prostaglandins.

Deficiency Symptoms of Essential Fatty Acids

Deficiency of linoleic acid (Omega-6):

Deficiency of linolenic acid (Omega-3):

How many essential fatty acids should you get?

We have already found out that essential fatty acids are very important for the body. Now we need to understand how much they need us. It is usually recommended to use essential fatty acids in the proportion of 4: 1 or 3: 1 (linoleic acid: linolenic acid). The reason for this ratio is that linolenic acid is metabolized 4 times faster than linoleic acid. Therefore, for each gram of linolenic acid, you must consume 3-4 g of linoleic acid. Many diets simply abound with linoleic acid, but do not contain enough linolenic acid.

If you are looking for supplements in the form of essential fatty acids, oils or foods, you should know that most of them contain more linoleic acid than linolenic acid. You remember that you need to consume fatty acids in the proportion of 3: 1 or 4: 1, but do not panic. You get a sufficient amount of linoleic acid from your menu. But since you need and linolenic acid, then you can find it in other products.

When you are going to buy something, you pay attention to the cost. It is much cheaper to buy oils, for example, linseed oil than to buy capsules. This way you will get more fatty acids. The only thing that you need to pay attention to in this case is the taste of the oil. Some people like the taste of the same linseed oil, others do not tolerate it. If you belong to the latter, then it is better to buy capsules.

Capsules are also more convenient to use. You just need to put the capsule in your mouth and drink it with water. Capsules you can always take with you. You must weigh the pros and cons, calculate the costs, convenience and taste preferences.

Another way to get all the essential fatty acids is to get them along with the food. Below you will find a small list of products that contain essential fatty acids.

Products containing essential fatty acids

You can add flax seeds to salads, eat fish, nuts and get essential fatty acids.

The choice is yours. The main thing is to get all the essential fatty acids for a healthy and active life.

The article is simply gorgeous! Thank you very much for your work! Everything is very clear and very interesting

The information is interesting, important. I think that it is very necessary for young people who have an organism to form a clear idea of ​​the correct balanced diet and its components. In the above information, I would disclose the concept of "saturated" and "unsaturated" fatty acids. Fatty carboxylic acids, which do not contain double bonds in their carbon chain, are called saturated. They are inactive and mainly enter into the composition of triglycerides of fats of animal origin. If the carboxylic acid in its chain has a double bond, it is called unsaturated. Fatty acids, in whose chains there are two or more double bonds, and sometimes a triple bond, are called polyunsaturated. Such acids are very active in metabolic processes. They are rich in vegetable fats, fats of some fish species and non-fish products of the sea.

Thank you! Extremely useful information and very much everything is stated.

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