Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that cannot be constructed within an organism from other components (generally all references are to humans) by any known chemical pathways; and therefore must be obtained from the diet. The term refers to those involved in biological processes, and not fatty acids which may just play a role as fuel. As many of the compounds created from essential fatty acids can be taken directly in the diet, it is possible that the amounts required in the diet (if any) are overestimated. It is also possible they can be underestimated as organisms can still survive in non-ideal, malnourished conditions.

There are two families of EFAs: ω-3 (or omega-3 or n−3) and ω-6 (omega-6 or n−6). Fats from each of these families are essential, as the body can convert one omega-3 to another omega-3, for example, but cannot create an omega-3 from scratch. They were originally designated as Vitamin F when they were discovered as essential nutrients in 1923. In 1930, work by Burr, Burr and Miller showed that they are better classified with the fats than with the vitamins.

The biological effects of the ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids are mediated by their mutual interactions. In the body, essential fatty acids serve multiple functions. In each of these, the balance between dietary ω-3 and ω-6 strongly affects function.

They are modified to make:

  1. The classic eicosanoids (affecting inflammation and many other cellular functions).
  2. The endocannabinoids (affecting mood, behavior and inflammation).
  3. The lipoxins from ω-6 EFAs and resolvins from ω-3 (in the presence of aspirin, downregulating inflammation).
  4. The isofurans, neurofurans, isoprostanes, hepoxilins, epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) and Neuroprotectin D.
  5. They form lipid rafts (affecting cellular signaling).
  6. They act on DNA (activating or inhibiting transcription factors such as NFκB, which is linked to pro-inflammatory cytokine production).

Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses.

www.omegaresearch.com

Related products available at Nutri-Link:

Code Product description Type Size Supplier
57784 Arctic Cod Liver Oil – 90 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 90 NN
58784 Arctic Cod Liver Oil – Lemon Liq 237ml NN
54784 Arctic Cod Liver Oil – Orange Liq 237ml NN
54786 Arctic Cod Liver Oil – Orange Liq 474ml NN
55784 Arctic Cod Liver Oil – Peach Liq 237ml NN
53784 Arctic Cod Liver Oil – Plain Liq 237ml NN
56781 Arctic Cod Liver Oil – Strawberry Liq 237ml NN
04101 Arctic Omega™ – 180 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 180 NN
43101 Arctic Omega™ – 90 Fish Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 90 NN
03101 Arctic Omega™ – 90 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 90 NN
03100 Arctic Omega™ – 90 Soft Gels – Plain Soft Gel 90 NN
04103 Arctic Omega™ Liquid – Lemon Liq 237ml NN
58782 Arctic-D Cod Liver Oil Liq 237ml NN
50501 Balanced Omega™ Combination – Lemon Soft Gel 180 NN
SP100 BodyBio Oil 4:1 Oil Liq 474ml BB
SP101 BodyBio Oil Caps Caps 300 BB
SP102 BodyBio Oil Caps Caps 180 BB
SP600 BodyBio PC (900 mg./cap) Caps 100 BB
SP650 BodyBio PC (900 mg./cap) Caps 300 BB
SP550 BodyBio PC Liquid (3000 mg./tsp) Liq 474ml BB
SP500 BodyBio PC Liquid (3000 mg./tsp) Liq 237ml BB
1409 CLA (800mg) Caps 60 BRC
72630 DHA Fish Oil Concentrate Soft Gel 90 ARG
03180 DHA Junior (Age 3-7) – 180 Chewable Soft Gels – Strawberry Soft Gel 180 NN
03183 DHA Junior Liquid – Strawberry Liq 120ml NN
1097 Dr Houston’s Lipid Kit Kit 1 BRC
1412 EFA-Sirt Supreme™ Caps 180 BRC
71260 EPO Evening Primrose Oil, 500mg Soft Gel 120 ARG
SP330 Evening Primrose Oil (1300 mg./cap) Caps 90 BB
SP335 Evening Primrose Oil (1300 mg./cap) Caps 180 BB
SP350 Flax Meal Pwdr 425g BB
72350 Flax Seed Oil Liq 237ml ARG
1405 Flax Seed Oil Caps Caps 100 BRC
70550 Flax Seed Oil, 1000mg Soft Gel 100 ARG
70560 Flax Seed Powder Pwdr 454g ARG
71320 GLA Borage Oil Soft Gel 30 ARG
SP390 Kirunal EPA 215mg DHA 75mg (2 caps) Caps 240 BB
75120 LipoPhos EDTA Liq 60ml ARG
75130 LipoPhos Forte Liq 120ml ARG
NTFAC150 NT Factor Advanced Pysician’s Formula Tabs 150 NTI
76710 NT Factor Energy Lipids Pwdr 150g ARG
76700 NT Factor Healthy Aging Formula Tabs 120 ARG
76700 NT Factor Healthy Curb Formula Tabs 180 ARG
50502 Omega-3 Pet™ Soft Gels 90 NN
1407 Optimal EFAs™ Caps 120 BRC
51090 ProDHA (Age 7 upwards) – 120 Soft Gels – Strawberry Soft Gel 120 NN
50091 ProDHA (Age 7 Upwards) – 90 Soft Gels – Plain Soft Gel 90 NN
50090 ProDHA (Age 7 upwards) – 90 Soft Gels – Strawberry Soft Gel 90 NN
50095 ProDHA™ Eye Soft Gel 60 NN
03090 ProEFA Xtra™ – Lemon Soft Gel 60 NN
03091 ProEFA® – 90 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 90 NN
04091 ProEFA® -180 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 180 NN
04092 ProEFA® Liquid – Lemon Liq 237ml NN
03093 ProEFA™ Junior (Age 5-15) – Lemon (Chewable) Soft Gel 90 NN
07061 ProEPA Xtra™ – 60 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 60 NN
08060 ProEPA™ – 120 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 120 NN
07060 ProEPA™ – 60 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 60 NN
NTPRO60 Propax Gold w/NT Factor Pkts 60 NTI
12124 ProOmega-D™ – 60 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 60 NN
12125 ProOmega-D™ Liquid – Lemon Liq 237ml NN
13120 ProOmega® – 120 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 120 NN
14120 ProOmega® – 180 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 180 NN
12120 ProOmega® – 60 Soft Gels – Lemon Soft Gel 60 NN
07100 ProOmega® Junior – Strawberry Soft Gel 90 NN
12123 ProOmega® Liquid – Lemon Liq 120ml NN
12130 ProOmega™ – CoQ10 Soft Gel 60 NN
1422 Sesame Seed Oil Liq 120ml BRC
71250 Super EPA (360mg, DHA 240mg) Soft Gel 60 ARG
73870 Super EPA (360mg, DHA 240mg) Soft Gel 200 ARG

References

  1. Burr, G.O., Burr, M.M. and Miller, E. (1930). “On the nature and role of the fatty acids essential in nutrition” (PDF). J. Biol. Chem. 86 (587). View Abstract
  2. Stillwell W, Shaikh SR, Zerouga M, Siddiqui R, Wassall SR (2005). “Docosahexaenoic acid affects cell signaling by altering lipid rafts”. Reproduction, Nutrition, Development 45 (5): 559–579. View Abstract
  3. Calder PC (2004). “n-3 fatty acids, inflammation, and immunity–relevance to postsurgical and critically ill patients”. LIPIDS 39 (12): 1147–1161 View Abstract
  4. Skin changes in essential fatty acid deficiency in mice. Nutr.Rev. 1969;27(3):85-88. View Abstract
  5. Essential fatty acid deficiency in continuous-drip alimentation. Nutr.Rev. 1975;33(11):329-331. View Abstract
  6. Is essential fatty acid deficiency part of the syndrome of abetalipoproteinemia? Nutr.Rev. 1980;38(7):244-246. View Abstract
  7. Development of essential fatty acid deficiency in the premature infant given fat-free TPN. Nutr.Rev. 1985;43(1):14-15. View Abstract
  8. Essential fatty acid deficiency in premature infants. Nutr.Rev. 1989;47(2):39-41. View Abstract
  9. ISSFAL Board Statement: recommendations for the essential fatty acid requirement for infant formulas. International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids. J.Am.Coll.Nutr. 1995;14(2):213-214. View Abstract
  10. Abdel-Ghaffar, Y. T., Amin, E., Abdel-Rasheed, M., and Fouad, H. H. Essential fatty acid status in infants and children with chronic liver disease. East Mediterr.Health J. 2003;9(1-2):61-69. View Abstract
  11. Abushufa, R., Reed, P., Weinkove, C., Wales, S., and Shaffer, J. Essential fatty acid status in patients on long-term home parenteral nutrition. JPEN J.Parenter.Enteral Nutr. 1995;19(4):286-290. View Abstract
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