The Impact of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) in Human Health
Alberto Krayyem Arbex1,2*, Vagner Rosa Bizarro1, Julio Cesar Salles Santos1, Lis Marina Mesquita Araújo1, Ana Luísa Conceição de Jesus1, Minelli Salles Alves Fernandes1, Marcela Miranda Salles1, Denise Rosso Tenório Wanderley Rocha1, Aline Marcadenti3,4
1Division of Endocrinology, Faculdade IPEMED de Ciências Médicas (IPEMED), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2Visiting Scientist of the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, USA.
3Postgraduate Studies Program in Cardiology, Instituto de Cardiologia/Funda??o Universitária de Cardiologia do Rio Grande do Sul (IC/FUC), Porto Alegre, Brazil.
4Department of Nutrition, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre (UFSCPA), Porto Alegre, Brazil.
DOI: 10.4236/ojemd.2015.57013   PDF   HTML   XML   4,947 Downloads   6,589 Views   Citations


Linoleic (LA) and α-linolenic acids (ALA) are considered essential fatty acids (EFA) because they are not produced by the human body. This way, EFAs sources must come from the diet. The primary dietary source of n-3 fatty acids is ALA, found in seeds and seed oils. Other important sources are fish oils such as tuna, salmon and herring. Currently, numerous studies suggest possible benefits of essential fatty acids in human health, such as in cardiovascular, cognitive and eye health, and also during pregnancy and childhood. This paper also discusses the impact of fatty acids in human metabolism, and the available evidence regarding its risks. It addresses the relevant debate regarding a general ban of trans fatty acids (TFA) from the world food market, because of the cardiovascular risks associated with its consumption.

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Arbex, A. , Bizarro, V. , Santos, J. , Araújo, L. , de Jesus, A. , Fernandes, M. , Salles, M. , Rocha, D. and Marcadenti, A. (2015) The Impact of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) in Human Health. Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, 5, 98-104. doi: 10.4236/ojemd.2015.57013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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