Oils Revisited – Essential Fatty Acids – Are You Getting Enough? By Dr. Randy Martin, OMD, LAc
Flax Oil – Omega-3 and other EFA’s; Vit E, Lecithin and phytosterols, plant lignins; antioxidants. Good for autoimmune disorders, arthritis, inflammation; also good for cardiovascular disease; dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, acne, depression, fatigue, allergies, ADD, ADHD, arthritis, chronic viral, bacterial and fungal infections, IBS, kidney stones.
Pumpkin Seed Oil – plant sterols; high alpha-linolenic acid and phyto sterols, important for sexual gland functions and hormone activity; Alpha linolenic acid is the precursor of other omega 3 oils such as EPA and DHA.
Borage Seed Oil – has more GLA (gamma linolenic acid) than Evening Primrose Oil; GLA is important for the production of prostaglandin E1; highest GLA of any plant.
Fish Oils – high in EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA, docosahexaenoic acid; EPA and DHA are components of nerve cells and cell membranes. Omega 3 fatty acids from fish are good for cardio vascular function. The best fish for EPA’s and DHA’s are sardines, mackerel, salmon, bluefish, herring, and tuna.
Hemp Oil – High in Omega-3’s and some GLA. 57% LA linoleic and % LNA linolenic in a 3 to 1 ratio matching our nutritional needs. Has more EFA’s than flax oil. Contains GLA which is gamma linolenic acid, and is a controversial one to add. Has GLA’s and Omega 3’s both.
GLA Oils – High in primrose oil, black currant seed oil and borage oil. It stimulates growth of hair and nails, skin, and reduces inflammation. EPA Oils – The most mood elevating Omega-3 component. Use EPA’s for depression, manic, bi polar, suicidal feelings — EPA contains DHA, but you need the EPA to affect the neural pathways, so don’t take DHA alone. Low EPA correlates with depression in many separate research studies. EPA is also good for inflammatory pain and inflammation of any kind, including Fibromyalgia, IBS, Migraines, joint disease, and to prevent stroke and cardiovascular disease. EPA’s will also raise serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter. Also use it in violent behavior (criminals, substance abuse, addictions, and impulsive anger,) ADD and ADHD, and to lower blood pressure, Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and in Crohns disease.
Ratio of EFA – The best ratio is 1.5% omega-3 and 2.5% omega-6 totalling 4% of your calorie intake.
Bad Oils – The worst oils are: corn, peanut (as in peanut butter), sesame, soybean, cottonseed, canola, safflower and sunflower. All of these are too high in omega 6 oils.
Good Cooking Oils – The best is to just use Olive oil for everything including cooking, and also better for you.
Saturated Fatty Acids – These fatty oils are made from animal products and can be recognized because they are solid at room temperature (i.e. butter, lard).
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids – These fats are liquid at room temperature and are derived from plant sources; They will help to lower total serum cholesterol by lowering both HDL and LDL. But remember that the HDL are the “good” cholesterol and you want them higher and not lower. Some studies show that polyunsaturated fats may increase your risk of cancer because they tend to oxidize easily.
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids – These fats are liquid at room temperature and are derived from plant sources; They lower serum cholesterol by lowering LDL and leaving HDL unchanged. They are generally considered “healthy fats.” This type of fat is found in nuts, avocados, tea leaf, olive oil, grapeseed oil and flaxseed oil.
Omega 6 — Linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid promote the production of the series 1 prostaglandins, which are anti inflammatory and anti atherogenic; sources are vegetable, nut and seed oils, corn, safflower, soy, canola, sunflower gamma linolenic acid (GLA), breast milk, evening primrose oil, black currant oil, and borage oil; good for auto immune conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, scleroderma, MS, asthma, hayfer, hives and hypertension.
Omega 3 — Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA’s) – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA’s), and alpha linolenic acid (