Fat is necessary for cell membranes, nerve coverings, hormone production, vitamin absorption, and more. Most of us get a lot of fat in our diet, but it usually is not the quality fat we should be getting. We need to eat more “good” fats from flax seed, olive, vegetable, and nut oils (omega- 3, 6, and 9 fats respectively) and less saturated oils and trans fats (or hydrogenated oils) contained in processed foods.
The fatty acid profile shows the balance of fats and their metabolites in plasma. Your overall balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats is represented by the ratios of AA/EPA (arachidonic acid/eicosapentaenoic acid) and EPA/DGLA.
- EPA: eicosapentaenoic acid
- DGLA: dihomo-γ-linolenic acid
The balance of eicosanoic fatty acids is critical for proper supply of the prostanoid and leukotriene 1-, 2-, and 3-series local hormones that control a host of cellular functions and responses.
The EPA:DGLA ratio can help fine tune intake of series-1 and -3 eicosanoid precursors.
The EPA/DGLA ratio will be low when DGLA is elevated relative to EPA, indicating a need for EPA sources like Algae oil. You do not have to use fish oil. Keep in mind that fish get it from the algae they consume.
When the ratio is high, sources of DGLA (black currant or evening primrose oil) are indicated.
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