Vitamin F is a fat-soluble vitamin consisting of the unsaturated fatty acids. These usually come in the form of liquid vegetable oils, while saturated fatty acids are found in animal fat. This vitamin is important for respiration of vital organs, and helps lubricate the cells. It is essential for normal glandular activity and helps regulate blood coagulation, it also helps break up cholesterol deposits on the arterial walls.
Vitamin F works in tandem with vitamin D in the body in making calcium available to the tissues, assisting in the assimilation of phosphorus, and stimulating the conversion of carotene into vitamin A. It is essential for the normal functioning of the reproductive system, it nourishes skin cells and is needed for healthy mucous membranes and nerves.
Vitamin F or Fatty Acids are the acids occurring in natural triglycerides and are monocaroboxylc acids ranging in chain length from 4 to usually 24 carbon atoms. They are yielded by fats on hydrolysis along with glycerol. Fatty acids are divides into
- Saturated fatty acids such as lauric, palmitic and stearic acid
- Unsaturated fatty acids are further divvied into monosaturated and polysaturated fatty acids.
- Monounsaturated fatty acids: These fatty acids lower the total plasma cholesterol level but have no affect in high density lipoprotein (HDL)
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: The nutritionally important poly unsaturated fatty acids may either be omega-3 or omeg-6 fatty acids. Both of them cause lowering of cholesterol level but omega 6 has disadvantage of lowering HDL also.
The polyunsaturated fatty acids are mostly found in vegetables oils while the saturated ones are found in animal fats.
Essential fatty acid are those that cannot be synthesized in our body so they have to be derived only from the foods. They are the linoleic acid and the α-linolenic acid and these are polyunsaturated fatty acids. Arachidonic is semi essential fatty acid. Among these most important essential fatty acid is the linoleic acid which serves as a basis for the production of other essential fatty acids.
Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
- Lowers blood cholesterol.
- Help slower risk of heart disease.
- Helps adrenal glands.
- To the skin, it brings suppleness and a youthful appearance and hair becomes more shiny and healthy
- Beneficial in intestinal bacteria.
- Aids in blood coagulation and calcium transport to cells.
- May assist in the reduction of weight and it provides the body with a fatty substance that can easily be metabolized
- Supports healthy blood cholesterol levels, nervous system, cardiovascular health and circulatory function.
- Helps to nourish your immune system, skin and hair. Enhances joint function, making movement easier
- Supports glandular activity, especially the thyroid and adrenal glands. Aids in blood coagulation and calcium transport to cells.
Deficiency symptoms of Vitamin F
- Hair loss.
- Damage to the kidneys, heart and liver.
- Slow healing.
Best food sources of vitamin F
Omega-6 fatty acids: almonds, avocado, bee pollen, fruits, garlic, ginger, licorice root, nuts, olive oil, oranges, parsley, peanuts, pecans, root vegetables, seeds, spinach, spirulina, all kinds of sprouts, sunflower seeds, vegetable oil, wheatgerm, wheat, wheatgrass and grains.
Omega-3 fatty acids: these are hard to find in the diet . . . deep-green vegetables flax seed, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, soybean, walnuts, wheatgerm, chia, kukui (candlenut)
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