1. Energy production. EFAs hook up to oxygen and facilitate electron transfer and energy production in the cell mitochondrion.
2. Oxygen transfer: EFAs hold oxygen, like a magnet, in the cell membrane. This has an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal effect on the cell.
3. Maintains Cell Membrane Fluidity: Polyunsaturated fatty acids, because of their double bonds, prevent “stickiness” of the cells.
4. Recovery from fatigue: Facilitates conversion of lactic acid to carbon dioxide and water (flushes out lactic acid).
5. Prostaglandin precursors: Omega-3-induced prostaglandins decrease inflammation, decrease water retention, decrease platelet stickiness, decrease blood pressure, inhibit tumor growth, and decrease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
6. Growth: When EFAs are consumed as 12-15% of total calories, they increase the rate of metabolic reactions. This results in increased fat burning. Increased fat burning leads to excess energy output (as heat). Additional energy output leads to weight loss.
7. Immune system: EFAs help immune system to fight infections. May prevent allergies from occurring.
TWO CLASSES OF ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFAs)
(1) Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Linoleic Acid is an Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid that can be found in sunflower, safflower, corn, sesame, and other oils. The modern diet is overloaded with omega-6 fatty acids because of the reliance on grain-based sustenance— breads, cereals, pastas, and cakes—along with the use of highly processed and damaged oils that are rich in omega-6 fats.
(2) Alpha Linolenic Acid is an Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that can be found in fatty fishes such as salmon, swordfish, herring, and mackerel; as well as in seeds and nuts such as flax seed, walnuts, and almonds. Studies have shown that the alpha linolenic acid derivatives, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in fish and fish oils dramatically reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.