Fatty acids are acids produced when fats are broken down. They are considered “good fats.” These acids are not highly soluble in water, and they can be used for energy by most types of cells. They may be mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated, or saturated. They are organic, or in other words, they contain both carbon and hydrogen molecules.
Fatty acids are found in oils and other fats that make up different foods. They are an important part of a healthy diet, because the body needs them for several purposes. Fatty acids help move oxygen through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. They aid cell membrane development, strength, and function, and they are necessary for strong organs and tissue.
There are many different types of fatty acids. You have most likely heard of certain types, such as Omega-3 etc. Omega-3 is considered an “essential” fatty acid, as is Omega-6. There is one other, Omega-9, but this type can be readily produced by the body, while the other two types cannot.
Fatty acids can also help keep skin healthy, help prevent early aging, and may promote weight loss by helping the body process cholesterol. More importantly, they help rid the arteries of cholesterol build up. Another purpose of fatty acids is to assist the adrenal and thyroid glands, which may also help regulate weight.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are found in fish and certain plants. Since they cannot be produced in the body, they must be ingested in the form of foods or natural supplements. However, it is important to discuss all supplements with your healthcare provider before you begin taking them.
Essential fatty acids are required to retain healthy lipid levels in the blood. They are also necessary for proper clotting and regulated blood pressure. Another important function is controlling inflammation in cases of infection or injury. Essential fatty acids can also help the immune system to react properly. While we tend to think of all forms of “fats” as bad or unhealthy, it is important to realize that certain fats, namely fatty acids, are essential for optimum health.
See the entries for Omega 3, Omega 6 and Oleic Acid
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