If you do you may be deficient in ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Essential Fatty Acids, or EFA's are - well, as the name suggests - essential.
Excess ear wax is a classic symptom of deficiency in fatty acids, unless you actually have a troublesome ear infection.
Deficiency of EFA's can also cause dandruff.
Most people are deficient in EFA's. Our modern diet is lacking in the type of fats that are good for us, because the diet has been replaced with cheap oils and trans-fats that are indigestible and have little or no EFA content.
EFAs are also damaged by processing in the manufacture of cooking oils, margarines, shortenings, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fatty acids, and are also damaged by sautéing, frying, and deep-frying in food preparation. We need to get our EFA's from food, not fat and oil.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) include linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, which are omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids, and linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid, which are omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids. In the body, arachidonic acid can be made from linoleic acid, and eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids can be made from linolenic acid.
EFAs are needed for many physiologic processes, including maintaining the integrity of the skin and the structure of cell membranes and synthesizing prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid are important components of the brain and retina.
Do your children have BEHAVIOURAL AND LEARNING PROBLEMS?Children with low blood levels of essential omega-3 fatty acids, have a greater tendency to have problems with behavior, learning and health consistent with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Or maybe they're so stuffed up with ear wax they just can't hear you!!
Some previous studies by other researchers have indicated that symptoms associated with a deficiency in fatty acids are exhibited to a greater extent in children with ADHD. Those symptoms include thirst, frequent urination and dry skin and hair. Some researchers, however, were able to pinpoint omega-3s as the fatty acids that may be associated with the unique behavior problems in children with ADHD.
"There are two types of fatty acids that must be obtained from the foods we eat because the body cannot synthesize them," says John R. Burgess, assistant professor of foods and nutrition. "Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are both essential to the body. However, evidence is accumulating that a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids may be tied to behavior problems, learning and health problems."
ADHD is the most common behavioral disorder in children, affecting between 3 percent and 5 percent of school-age youngsters. It's diagnosed more often in boys than girls. The cause of ADHD is unknown, but research suggests many factors may contribute to it, including biological and environmental elements.
Stimulant drugs such as Ritalin often are used to calm children with ADHD and are effective about 75 percent of the time. "With our research we are trying to find potential causes of ADHD so that nutritional treatments can be developed for some children with ADHD," Burgess says.
Full-term babies fed a skim-milk formula low in linoleic acid may have growth failure, thrombocytopenia, alopecia, and a generalized scaly dermatitis, which resembles congenital ichthyosis, with increased water loss from the skin. This syndrome is reversed by linoleic acid supplementation. Deficiency is unlikely to occur on balanced diets, although cow's milk has only about 25% of the amount of linoleic acid in human milk. Although total fat intake in many developing countries is very low, much of the fat is of vegetable origin and is rich in linoleic acid with some linolenic acid.
Find out more about essential fatty acids
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