Fatty acids: their importance in the body

Complete analysis of Fatty Acids and their usage in the body

Analysis of Fatty Acids

 We often come across the term ‘fatty acid’. It is often used in medical as well as regular vocabulary. Have you ever wondered what fatty acid means? This article will give you a detailed overview of fatty acids.

 

What are fatty acids?

Before knowing any details, let us understand what do we mean by fatty acids. Fatty acids are carboxylic acids that are made up of chains of a hydrocarbon plus a terminal group of a carboxyl – particularly those occurring in esters in fats and oils.

It is accompanied by a long aliphatic chain, which can be either saturated or even can be unsaturated.

Some examples of saturated fatty acids are as follows:

  1. Stearic acid is a mixture of approximately equal amounts of stearic and palmitic acids and small amounts of oleic acid. A monounsaturated fatty acid is an Oleic acid. It has a single double carbon-carbon bond.
  2.  Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Polyunsaturated fatty acids have 2 or more double carbon-carbon bonds.

 

Fatty acids and their uses in the body:

Fatty acids are widely used in the various parts of our body. They act as building blocks of the body. Fatty acids constitute or frames prostaglandins, which regulate the amount of inflammation in the body whether increasing or decreasing it.  Inflammation is extremely important as it gives a sense of tissue damage and healing.

Fatty acids regulate the function and structure of the membrane.

In addition, they also control the metabolism of cells and tissue, the effect of hormones in the body and so on.

Intracellular signaling pathways, gene expression, and transcription factor activity are also regulated and control by fatty acids.

As a matter of fact, the deficiency of essential fatty acid can lead to

  1. Development of dry skin,  or scaly.
  2. Excessive thirst and dry mouth.
  3. Brittle fingernails.
  4. Development of dull and patchy skin.
  5. It can also lead to cracked fingertips and cracked nails.

 

Other effects of fatty acid:

  1. Fatty acids protect the brain

Fatty acids do a lot to protect the brain. They help in developing cognition as well as bars neurological diseases from invading the body. As a matter of fact, it has been studied that omega 3 fats can cause a remarkable decrease in Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive disorders.

The intake of fish can increase the power of memory and aids in the overall improvement of brain health because it contains omega 3 fatty acid.

  1. It reduces joint pain

Joint pain is often caused by diseases like Arthritis. Fatty acids help in the reduction of joint pain. Evening primrose oil is made up of linoleic acid of the body which is present in gamma-linolenic acid. The patients who applied this Evening primrose oil have significantly less joint pain, lesser morning stiffness, and joint tenderness compared to the ones in the placebo group.

As a matter of fact, patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis received relief from the pain and stiffness by being supplemented with omega 3 fatty acid.

  1. Support heart health

Higher the intake of fatty acid, the reduction in the rate of heart diseases increases. Fatty acids are hence good for the heart if taken in a measured amount.

For instance, Omega-3 has significantly reduced triglycerides, the build-up of plaque in the arteries and even blood pressure.

 

Preparation of fatty acid in the body:

Fatty acids in the body are formed by the mammary glands during lactation in women as well as by the carbohydrates present in the liver and the adipose tissue.

During glycolysis, the pyruvate produced is an intermediate product and helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into fatty acids and cholesterol.

 

Essential fatty acid:

Essential fatty acids are those which must be present in human or animals for their healthy living and development.  w-3 linoleic acid and omega-6 linoleic acids are the most important fatty acids that must be present in human beings as the human body is unable to produce a carbon-carbon double bond.  From these acids, the human body can obtain docosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.

Essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the human body thus must be present by default.

 

Food sources of fatty acids:

Some of the food sources of fatty acids are fish, shellfish, olive oil, soya oil, chia seeds and so on.

 

It can be concluded that it is important to consume fatty acids in the proper amount because their deficiency badly affects human health. For professional help, you can consult any good dietician in Delhi.

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