Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Fats all have a similar structure, where carbon atoms are bound to other hydrogen atoms and carbon atoms.
Polyunsaturated fats have more than 2 double carbon bonds between the carbon atoms in the fatty acid chain.
Polyunsaturated fats can often be found in oily fish like mackerel or egg yolks.
The term "fats" is used interchangeably to describe all types of fats such as monosaturated fats , monounsaturated fats, trans fat and even the fat which accumulates in and around your stomach.
Consequently, the term "fat" often gets a bad reputation.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats generally have less undesirable effects and more desirable effects than trans-fats, which are often industrially made.
Saturated fats tends to be of more benefit to males than females
Fats are also:
- Essential for healthy cell membranes and cardiovascular health,
-Building and maintaining the sheaths of nerves
-Essential for blood clotting which stops one from bleeding from wounds
-Essential for hair growth
-Essential for improved vitamin and mineral absorption
-Essential for muscle movement
Results indicate that in men, a decrease in dietary fat content and an increased intake of unsaturated fatty acids reduces the serum concentrations of:
-Testosterone and free testosterone
There was positive association recorded between polyunsaturated fat intake,(particularly Omega-6) and luteinising hormone concentrations in the bloodstream.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty acids are essential, henceforth the body cannot produce it on its own, meaning this must be obtained through diet.
Alpha-linoeic acids may arguably be the most important omega-3 fatty acids as it can be converted to DHA and EPA
In Omega 6 fatty acids, the atomic double bond is located between the sixthand seventh carbon atom.
In Omega-3 fatty acids, the atomic double bond is located between the third and fourth carbon atom.
The most vital Omega-6 fatty acids include:
Linoleic acid, Gamma-linolenic acid and Arachidonic acid
Of the three, Linoleic acid may be deemed the most practical, as linoleic acid can be used by the body to produce gamma-linoleic acid and arachinodic acid.
The main functions of Omega-6 include:
Regulation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL , or commonly known as "bad cholesterol") high-density lipoprotein (HDL, otherwise commonly known as"good cholesterol")
-Growth and repair processes
The benefits of Omega-3 include:
-The formation of tissue hormones
-Blood dilution (anticoagulating)
-Lowering of blood pressure
-Strengthening of the immune system
-Protection against infections
-Reduction in heart attack incidences, particularly in black people ; in a study funded by The U.S. National Institutes of Health., African Americans saw a 77% reduction in heart attacks after taking Omega-3.
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