ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS [EFA'S]
OMEGA-3 AND OMEGA-6
Essential Fatty Acids [EFAs]
EFAs are polyunsaturated long chain fat molecules which
support cellular membrane and prostaglandins that regulate
numerous critical metabolic functions.
There are pros and cons with EFA’s causing a
certain amount of confusion:
- Certain EFAs, such as Omega
3 oils, have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous,
insulin sensitizers and brain neuroprotective effects.
- Certain polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from
Omega 6 oils are shown to increase the risk of cancer,
arteriosclerosis and premature aging.
Whilst EFAs may be touted as the most efficient fuel
among all food compounds; there is danger of too much
of a good thing. Diets rich in polyunsaturated fats
have been shown to deplete Vitamin E from the body and
increase levels of free radicals, resulting in dysfunctional
or damaged tissue. This damaging aging of tissues partially
accounts for the leathery appearance of old skin or
the sagginess of old muscle tissues.
Sources of EFA
Sources of Omega-3
oils - fish oil, flaxseed, salmon, sardines,
trout, herring or tuna and walnuts. Humans are not able
to produce omega-3's so it
is important that we obtain them from the foods we eat
on a daily basis. Aim to have some Omega
3 food 10 times per week.
Sources of Omega-6 oil - olive oil,
cold pressed vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and seeds,
or evening primrose oil in capsule form.
NOTE: Keep your EFA in cold temperature to oxidation
Optimum EFA Daily Intake
The optimum daily intake of Essential Fatty Acids remains
controversial. Some health experts recommend increasing
EFA consumption, in particular Omega
3 oils. Fat guru Udo Erasmus claims EFAs are the
most efficient fuel among all food compounds. But is
Diets rich in polyunsaturated fats have been shown
to deplete Vitamin E from the body. These long chain
fat molecules also possess highly reactive double bonds
that have a high affinity to react with oxygen and thereby
increase levels of free radicals. Reactive free radicals
destroy tissues and increase cross linkage of proteins,
associated with aging of tissues.
It appears, the body is more efficient in converting
saturated fats to energy than polyunsaturated fats.
So it seems EFA’s should not be considered as
a good source of energy, on the contrary, they are a
poor fuel. EFA consumption should be optimized rather
The body can be trained to gradually increase its capacity
to utilize fat fuel using special high fat dietary cycles.
Adaptive EFA Cycling
Cycle between days of high fat [low carbs], based mostly
on raw nuts and light protein during the evening meal
followed by days of moderate to high carbs.
Dosage: 1-4 tablespoon/day of quality EFA [e.g. Udo
oil] for a 160-200lb person
NOTE: IMPORTANT GUIDELINES
- To avoid the damaging effect of Omega 6 oils, it
is essential to keep a ratio of omega3 to omega6 at
- It is also recommended you take 800iu Vitamin E
[RDA] to destroy the free radicals. It also protects
EFAs from getting rancid.
- Keep EFA’s in cold temperature. Check for