Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency

  • Omega 6 deficiency causes:
  • eczema-like skin eruptions hair loss
  • behavioural changes
  • kidney malfunction
  • water loss through the skin with attendant thirst
  • glands dry up
  • susceptibility to infections
  • wounds fail to heal
  • male sterility
  • female miscarriage
  • arthritis-like joint pain
  • heart beat abnormalities
  • growth retardation
  • dry skin and hair
  • dry eyes
  • sometimes increased cholesterol
  • Adequate Omega 6 reverses all of the above.

    Omega 3 deficiency causes:

    growth retardation
  • behavioural changes
  • general, weakness
  • vision and learning problems
  • motor uncoordination
  • tingling sensations in arms and legs

    But Omega 3 often reverses:
  • high triglycerides
  • high blood pressure
  • sticky platelets
  • inflammation in tissues
  • auto-immune symptoms
  • water retention (oedema)
  • dry skin
  • low metabolic rate and low energy
  • some kinds of immune dysfunction
  • inadequate glandular performance

To summarise, essential fatty acid deficiency affects cells and tissues throughout the entire body. No part of the body can function without them. Essential fatty acid supplementation reverses all symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency.

Minor ingredients from oils

Another group of oil soluble substances present in seeds and in fresh unrefined oils deserves attention. We call them the 'minor' ingredients. They have attracted little attention so far, but deserve a lot. Unrefined (health food trade) oils packaged in brown glass contain them. Refined (supermarket, colourless, odourless, and tasteless) oils have had them removed. Minor ingredients include phytosterols, antioxidants, lecithin, flavour and odour molecules, chlorophyll and hundreds of others, some yet unidentified special molecules.

Minor ingredients can

  • lower cholesterol and block cholesterol absorption from foods
  • improve cardiovascular function and immune function
  • improve digestion and stimulate pancreatic enzyme production
  • improve liver and gat[ bladder function and increase bile flow
  • act as antioxidants and stabilise essential fatty acids against oxidation (rancidity)
  • act as anti-inflammatory agents
  • protect visual function and improve brain function
  • impart pleasant flavours and odours

'Minor ingredients' make up only a minor part of oils (hence the 'minor'), about 2% of the total on average. They are oil soluble 'phytochemicals' - plant based molecules with major benefits on health.

Hundreds of different 'minor' ingredients are found in different oils. We are just beginning to study them.

The benefits of traditional extra virgin (green) olive oil on health, for instance, are based on its 'minor' ingredients, which improve liver and gall bladder function, digestion, and cardiovascular function. This is because its minor ingredients have not been removed by processing.

Most traditional diets that kept people free of degenerative conditions contain about 15 to 20% of their calories as fats. The Inuit (Eskimo) diet contained 6o% of its total calories as fats, much of it from raw whale blubber. Inuit were free of blood clot induced heart attacks and strokes. They were free of cancer and free of diabetes. Whale blubber fatty acids are rich in essential fatty acid derivatives from Omega 3 and Omega 6 and are completely unprocessed.

Fats in tradition & diets contained both essential fatty acids. They were unrefined and contained the 'minor' ingredients from the seeds and nuts from which oils are pressed. Technology for removing health supporting 'minor' ingredients from oils became widespread only in the past 100 years.

Home ] Introduction to the science and effects of oils and fats in the body ] The effects of oils, hard fats and sugars in the body ] Fats that heal - Fats that kill ] Essential fatty acids and weight loss ] Balancing Omega 3 and 6 ] Essential fatty acid function - alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3): linoleic acid (Omega 6)</font> ] [ Essential fatty acid deficiency ] About Udo Erasmus ] Contact page ]