Essential Fatty Acids – The Essential Missing Nutrients
Our diet greatly changed over the last century leading to a change in the diseases people suffer from. We now have increased levels of painful joints, more circulatory problems, more skin problems and more behavioural disorders. Nutritionists believe that the reason for these increases can be attributed to changes in our intake of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
Our bodies need around 3 to 4 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, the consumption of omega-3 rich oily fish is one fifth of what it was a century ago and omega-3 rich flaxseeds (linseeds) have never been consumed in large quantities. Since the 1940s, margarines and cooking oils have multiplied our omega 6 intake by six. So the modern ratio is more like 120:1, not the 4:1 we need. This imbalance is believed to contribute to the increase in inflammatory and circulatory problems we see today.
Essential fatty acids are all polyunsaturated, so they are particularly vulnerable to damage from heat and oxygen. Consequently, food manufacturers remove them from processed foods in order to prevent spoilage.
All these factors mean that supplementing with EFA’s is the only realistic course of action to rectify this situation, with fish oils, flaxseed oil, EFA blends and the up and coming Krill Oil being the ideal products to consider. (related Krill Oil article)