Unlike harmful fats that our bodies seem to hold onto far too readily, the body cannot produce essential fats. Their importance lies in the fact that they regulate every bodily function at the cellular level, including water retention, sodium balance, and fat metabolism.
While a fat-free diet is not necessarily associated with every disease state, the fact is that many diseases have increased while fat intake has declined. Since we’ve become afraid to eat fat, an estimated 80 percent of Americans now consume a diet deficient in EFAs.
Benefits of Omega 6
Linoleic acid (LA) is the foremost omega-6 fatty acid. After LA is absorbed, the body converts it into gamma linolenic acid (GLA), arachidonic acid (AA), and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
GLA and AA are important as raw materials for production of some of the prostaglandins, the hormone-like substances that control the functioning of most of the body’s life-sustaining systems. Because the body cannot store prostaglandins, sufficient levels of EFAs must be consumed daily to meet the body’s prostaglandin requirements.
GLA helps to combat allergy symptoms and inflammatory diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, and asthma. GLA also can promote weight loss by increasing the body’s fat-burning ability.