Essential fatty Acids ("EFA's") are not called "essential" by coincidence. While we tend to think of fats as something we should try to avoid, essential fatty acids are required by the body to perform a great number of functions. They must be obtained by the diet. The body can't make them by itself. The type of fat that most of us eat most of the time, the kind present in meats, fried foods and fast foods, does not qualify. They only harden blood vessels and cell membranes, causing dangerous conditions and unhealthy skin.
Many types of skin disorders can be cleared withing weeks based on a regime that incorporates generous essential fatty acids.
Most of us are seriously deficient in essential fatty acids. It is therefore no surprise that we see increasingly large numbers of our friends and family coming down with skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis and other disorders such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis. Found in high concentrations in the brain, EFA's aid in the transmission of nerve impulses and are needed for the normal brain function and development. This is especially important for our school children.
On the Beauty horizon, EFA's improve the quality of both skin and hair. Whether your skin is dry or oily, it will benefit from the balancing abilities of EFA's. An EFA deficiency gives cause for concern. Skin cells require a steady supply of EFA's to retain their youthful quality. If you want our skin cells to absorb all of those expensive moisturizers and treatments you so carefully apply, consider EFA supplementation to be an inexpensive addition to your skin care program.
Is Acne a concern for you? At first blush you might cringe at the thought of supplementing with oils if you are working hard to curb oil secretions on the skin. Don't. EFA's are needed by acneic skin even moreso, to keep the skin smooth and soft, repair damaged skin cells and dissolve fatty deposits that block pores.
EFA's are classified in two basic categories. Omega-6 oils, which include linolenic and gamma-linolenic acid, are found primarily in raw nuts, seeds, legumes, borage oil, grape seed oil, primrose oil, sesame oil and soybean oil. Omega-3 EFA's, including alpha-linolenic acid, are found in fresh deepwater fish, fish oil and certain vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut oils.
EFA's do not tolerate heat well, so in order to benefit from them you must either take them in supplement form or without processing or cooking. Heating them will not only destroy them, but convert them into dangerous free radicals.
Modern research indicates that EFA's protect the integrity of the cells of our body, a critical factor in the development of cellular injury and death. Without them, cells lose their ability to hold water and nutrients and to communicate with other cells and substances (including hormones) in the body.
Just look at the long list of benefits to be gained from maintaining a healthy diet rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fats:
* Correct regulation of hormone synthesis.
* Correct immune system response to pain, inflammation and swelling.
* Correct direction of endocrine hormones to their target cells (any female in peri-menopause, menopause or who has menstrual complications can appreciate the impact of this!)
* Correct regulation of cellular reproduction.
* Necessary for transport of oxygen from the red blood cells to all bodily tissues.
* Regulation of kidney function and fluid balance.
* Prevent blood cells from clumping together, which is a significant factor in artherosclerotic plaque.
* Mediate the release of inflammatory substances that may trigger allergic conditions.
* Regulation of nerve transmission.
* Primary source of energy for the heart muscle.
* Manipulation of Prostaglandin metabolism, a factor in many PMS symptoms.
If you suffer from skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis, EFA supplementation is a MUST. I know people who have completely cured themselves under a rigorous supplementation program rich in these essentials.
How much should you take? The ratio of essential fatty acids to other fats in the diet should, according to some experts, be in the ballpark of 4:1 ratio. Thatís pretty difficult to meet, unless you are eating a largely vegetarian diet. In order to come as close as you can, start with an excellent essential fatty acid supplement, take about 7000 mg a day, and cut back on all other fats to the extent possible. Donít take all of your supplements at once, divide them into two or three doses during the course of the day.
What about Fish oils? Some studies suggest that fish oils may be more potent than their vegetarian counterparts like flax, however experts have raised questions concerning the quality of various fish oils that are found in supplements. Many fish are farm raised and eat a diet high in grains, as opposed to their predecessors who ate a diet high in algae, plankton, and other water-based greenery. Therefore, I recommend taking organic flax seed oil.
I always have Flax Seed Oil on hand for my clients:Omega-3 Flax Oil by Health from the Sun. It should take at least one month before you notice a difference in the quality of your skin. Make this part of your daily routine to promote your odds of aging gracefully!
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