Essential fatty acids

Human Nutrition 3(3+0)
Lesson 14 : Lipids

Essential fatty acids

The term ‘Essential fatty acid’ (EFA) also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) was introduced by Burr and Burr in 1930 for linoleic acid.

The essential fatty acids (EFA) include linoleic, linolenic, and arachidonic acids. They are all polyunsaturated fatty acids that cannot ordinarily be synthesized in the body. However, if sufficient quantities of linoleic acid (omega-6) are present, arachidonic acid can be made.

Essential Fatty Acids
These are fatty acids that must be present in the diet to maintain health; and include linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid.

Linoleic acid is necessary for synthesis of prostaglandins. Safflower oil is particularly high in linoleic acid. Sunflower oil, corn oil, other vegetable oils, nuts and seeds are also good sources. Soybean, flaxseed, canola, as well as pumpkin seeds and walnut are the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid.

Last modified: Saturday, 17 March 2012, 6:02 AM