essential fatty acid


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Related to essential fatty acid: essential fatty acid deficiency

es·sen·tial fat·ty ac·id

a fatty acid that is nutritionally essential; for example, linoleic acid, linolenic acid.

essential fatty acid (EFA)

a polyunsaturated acid, such as linoleic, alpha-linolenic, and arachidonic acids, essential in the diet for proper growth, maintenance, and functioning of the body. EFAs are prostaglandin precursors that play important roles in metabolism. They are also necessary for the normal functioning of the reproductive and endocrine systems and the breaking up of cholesterol deposits on arterial walls. The best dietary sources are natural vegetable oils, such as soy and corn oils; margarines blended with vegetable oils; wheat germ; edible seeds, such as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower; and fish oils, especially cod liver and other fish body oil. Although rare, a deficiency of EFAs causes changes in cell structure and enzyme function, resulting in decreased growth and other disorders. Symptoms include brittle and lusterless hair, nail problems, dandruff, allergic conditions, and dermatoses, especially eczema in infants. Also excessive amounts may reduce the level of vitamin E in tissues and cause other metabolic disturbances.

essential fatty acid

Biochemistry
A fatty acid that humans cannot synthesise, which contains double bonds more distal than the COOH end of the 9th carbon atom:
(1) Linoleic acid 18:2 cis-delta 9, delta 12, which has two unsaturated carbon bonds; the first is attached at the methyl end to the 6th carbon (hence, n-6 or omega-6); and
(2) Linolenic acid 18:3 cis-delta 9, delta 12, delta 15.
 
Fringe nutrition
Some practitioners of alternative healthcare believe cystic fibrosis and ADD/ADHD in children may respond to an increased dietary intake of EFAs.

es·sen·tial fat·ty ac·id

(EFA) (ĕ-sen'chăl fat'ē as'id)
The 18-carbon fatty acids that are nutritionally required by humans and must be consumed through dietary sources. The EFAs are linoleic acid or C18:2 (n-6) and alpha-linolenic acid or C18:2 (n-3).

essential fatty acid

see LINOLEIC ACID.
References in periodicals archive ?
While essential fatty acids provide substantial photoprotection, an oil-soluble peptide called palmitoyl oligopeptide has been shown to kick start the repair process of sun-damaged skin by triggering new production of key molecules such as collagen and hyaluronic acid.
Supplementation with a daily complex of essential fatty acids and fish oils during pregnancy provides vital nutrients that supply the necessary EFAs for the increased nutritional and metabolic.
Studies of requirements of optimum dietary essential fatty acids in juvenile eel, Anguilla japonica.
Reviva claims that Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids -- essential constituents of skin cell membranes -- have been overlooked externally (and internally) as an answer to increase skin fullness in thin skin.
Professor Robert Winston demonstrated the benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids to children's cognitive development in the BBC's Child of Our Time series in January of this year, and more positive research has appeared in the last month.
And now the latest findings by the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research showed that organic milk to be 'a better source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids than conventional milk'.
Evening Primrose Oil will help boost your sex drive because it contains the essential fatty acids which act as building blocks for balancing the sex hormones.
Recent research has found that moisturizers incorporating essential fatty acids - specifically, linoleic acid extracted from sunflowers - are particularly effective in maintaining moisture levels, texture and elasticity of dry skin, since they replenish the epidermal barrier lipids that are lost as skin dries with aging.
Recent research is showing added benefits from essential fatty acids, which are available in some prenatal vitamins.
Removing essential fatty acids from the diet of organ-donating rats causes loss of immune cells from their tissues, thus providing a unique way to prevent a recipient's rejection fo the transplanted organ, scientists report.

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