Essential Fatty Acids Deficiency
Over the past decade, progress has been made in nutrition concerning “Essential Fatty Acids” (EFA). The EFA are nutrients required to produce the enzymes needed for various bodily functions and especially for immunity against infection and cancer.
There are two kinds, or families, of EFA. The Omega-6 family is found mainly in seeds grown in temperate climates (safflower, sunflower, and soy oils are examples). The EFA famine in America mainly involves the other family: Omega-3 EFA. The best sources of these fatty acids are fresh, oily, cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. There is one good, inexpensive source of both Omega-6 and Omega-3 EFA: dried beans, such as kidney beans, navy beans, and soy beans.
Unfortunately, today’s diet is increasingly high in factory-processed, packaged foods and the naturally occurring EFA are chemically altered by hydrogenation and made nearly useless to the body. In addition, the content of sugar and salt in these processed foods further impairs the body’s utilization of what little EFA remain.
The common symptoms of EFA deficiency are: dry skin, “chicken skin” of the upper arms or thighs (tiny rough bumps like a plucked chicken), dandruff of the lower legs in winter, excess callouses on the feet, fragile fingernails, and straw-like or falling hair. Usually, one or two of these symptoms are present, rarely all of them.
To supply the needed EFA, a combination of flaxseed oil, black currant oil, and fish oil is needed. These should be taken on the following schedule:
- 1. FLAX SEED OIL: 1/2 to 1-1/2 Tablespoonsful twice daily
The best way to take flaxseed oil is either to put on the food and mix it or use on salad as a salad oil. You cannot use flaxseed oil in cooking, otherwise it will destroy the essential fatty acids. It is hard to swallow any oil by itself; therefore, do not attempt to drink flaxseed oil by itself.
You may make salad dressing from Flax Seed Oil. Here is the recipe:
2 oz. Flax Seed Oil, 2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 oz. water, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp. maple syrup (optional), salt to taste, 1/8 tsp. Turmeric (optional). Put mixture in a mini blender and blend until smooth.
You may vary the amount of ingredients to suit your taste.
- BLACK CURRANT OIL SOFTGELS: Three softgels, twice daily, for a total of six.
- FISH OIL CAPSULES: Three capsules, twice daily (total of six).
For improved immune function, the following vitamins are also needed:
- VITAMIN B6: 100 mg, once daily
- VITAMIN C: 1000 mg, twice daily
- VITAMIN E: 400 IU, once daily
- BETA CAROTENE: 15 mg, once daily
As the symptoms of EFA deficiency improve (generally after one to three months), you may decrease the amounts of the first supplements to as follows:
- FLAXSEED OIL: Two teaspoons, daily
- BLACK CURRANT OIL: Two, twice daily (total of four)
- FISH OIL: Two, twice daily (total of four)
The oils are all available from your local health food store.
Ask for high lignan flax seed oil, which means the fiber is still in the oil and has not been filtered out.
Always try to obtain hypo-allergenic foods and supplements.