Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are sometimes
referred to as Vitamin F. It refers to omega-3
and omega-6 fatty acids.
is composed of two fatty acids - linoleic acid (LA)
Linoleic acid is
considered to be the most complete fatty acid. There are two basic categories
of EFA's - omega-3
, which include linoleic acid
and gamma-linoleic acid.
is not capable of manufacturing essential fatty acids
and so they have to
be derived only from food
. Omega-6 essential fatty
acid is found in raw nuts, seeds, legumes, grape seed oil and flaxseed oil;
while omega-3 essential fatty acid is found in fish, canola oil and walnut oil.
dietary allowance of EFAs for adults is 1-2 % of the total daily caloric intake
The primary function of these fatty acids is to repair and create tissue in the body
They also help with metabolism, healing,
reproductive health and skin and hair growth.
Deficiency leads to dry eyes, easy skin
bruising, delay in the healing process, and dull hair and skin.
Vitamin F is generally considered safe for daily
consumption and toxicity has not been reported so far. It does not interact
with most medicines. However, one should always consult a health care provider
while adding a nutritional supplement to the diet.