Why Getting Your EFAs In Balance Is Important
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) have caught a lot of attention over the past decade and for good reason. These fatty acids include Omega-3 and Omega-6 and have earned the title essential for their necessity in the body. The body requires EFAs for optimal health, but is unable to make these fatty acids on its own therefore they have to be taken in through the diet.
Types of Essential Fatty Acids:
While Omega-6 and Omega-3 are known as fatty acids there are others as well that deserve noting.
- Omega-6 – include linoleic acid (LA)
- Omega-3 – include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and can be synthesized from α-linolenic acid (ALA).
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA) – This fatty acids contains more properties that make it more heart healthy than other fatty acids.
Benefits of Omega-6
Omega-6 fatty acids is required for cell membrane structure and for energy. Replacing saturated and trans fat in the diet with Omega's will help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Neurological / Brain Health
- Skin & Hair Growth
- Regulate Metabolism
- Bone Health
- Improve Reproductive System
Balancing Omega 3 and Omega 6:
Research shows an imbalance between these two EFA’s can produce inflammation when the individual consumes more Omega-6 than Omega-3. This is an easy imbalance to strike due to the modern Western diet. Convenience and processed foods are high in Omega-6 and are consumed at an alarming rate in the standard American diet.
This rate of pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids being consumed is primarily due to the use of vegetable oils to produce these foods. Currently the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 in the standard American diet is between 10:1 to 20:1 when the ideal ratio should be between 2:1 to 4:1 to prevent inflammation and other health concerns.
Why does balance matter when both of these fatty acids are essential? This is a classic case of too much of a good thing. Since Omega-6 is naturally pro-inflammatory and Omega-3 is naturally anti-inflammatory there needs to be a balance between the two.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are important in managing heart diseases.
What is the issue with inflammation? The body being in a chronic inflammatory state can cause many health issues and pain. For those that live with an autoimmune disease this
is even more important to be aware of as they are already prone to inflammation due to an improper immune response.
Omega-6 Foods that Cause Inflammation
While most Omega-6 foods lead to inflammation this this is not the case for all. While Omega-6 foods are pro-inflammatory it is the imbalance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 that causes the inflammation. If your desire is to shift this imbalance there are certain foods you should consider cutting out.
- Mayonnaise and Salad Dressings
- Some vegetable oils
- Reduced Fat Potato Chips
- Corn Chips
- Fried Foods
- Baked goods like brownies and cookies
Symptoms and Preventative Measures
If you believe you have an imbalance in these EFA's there are some physical signs to look for:
- Mood Swings and Irritability
- Trouble Focusing / Attention Issues
- Joint Discomfort
- Fatigue and Poor Sleep Quality
- Dry Skin, Hair, and Poor Nail Health
To prevent inflammation and find a better balance between the two you should consider making some changes. The Mediterranean Diet is extremely effective in reducing inflammation and is a great balance in EFAs.
The unfortunate fact is that even eating a healthy diet can cause an imbalance due to the vegetable oil coating many health foods have in order to improve taste. To ensure you are not getting in hidden Omega-6 EFA follow some of these steps:
- Limit Processed Foods
- Use Olive, Coconut, or Avocado Oils Rather Than Vegetable.
- Limit or Avoid Fried Foods
How Much Is Needed?
Adult Males – Approximately 1.6 grams per day.
Adult Females – Approximately 1.1 grams per day.
Adult Males – Approximately 14-16 grams per day (decreases with age)
Adult Females – Approximately 11-12 grams per day (decreases with age)
EPAs are mostly found in certain fish, nuts and seeds.
The essential vitamin for women
Codeage Women’s Fermented Multivitamin is a premium formula made with real whole foods, organic herbs and fermented essential vitamins for optimal hormonal health, energy and digestive support. We’ve also included your daily dose of boron and omega-3 from micro-algae for enhanced cardio health as well as a synergistic blend of probiotics and enzymes for digestive health and wellness.
Vitamin A is an important vitamin for its role with bone growth as it helps stimulate bone-building cells called osteoblasts. Other functions of vitamin A include the formation and maintenance of teeth bones, soft tissue, white blood cells, the immune system and mucus membrane. Vitamin A palmitate or retinol palmitate is a form of vitamin A known as a retinoid (retinol) which is a bioavailable form of vitamin A meaning it can usually be used and absorbed by the body more efficiently than other forms of vitamin A. Vitamin A palmitate can also play a role in several areas, including your eye, skin and the immune system.*
We have also added vitamin B into Codeage Women's Fermented Vitamin. Vitamin B is great in helping you body convert food into energy. It is hard for people to get this vitamin unless they are including red meat in their daily diet. Vitamin C cannot be produced by the body and so it is essential to add this nutrient through supplements. It is however found in many fruits and vegetables and gives your immune system the energy it needs to live good lifestyle. Vitamin D is great for our bodies to absorb calcium and maintain healthy bones. Lastly, vitamin E is available in many healthy foods, however it is hard to get enough through a daily regimen. We have added vitamin E to protect and nourish your skin.
Bottom Line on EFA Balance
Are you experiencing inflammation or pain? Are you showing signs or symptoms of low omega-3 intake like dry skin or poor focus? You may need to take an inventory of your diet to determine if you are out of balance.
Both EFAs are needed for optimal health, but an imbalance can be harmful. Prevent having this issue by increasing your Omega-3 intake and lowering the Omega-6 foods you consume