Sea Buckthorn fruit and seed oils are excellent sources of important fatty acids, including essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and -6), and nonessential fatty acids (Omega-7 and -9). But what exactly are essential fatty acids and nonessential fatty acids and how do they benefit you?
Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat molecules. They are necessary for a wide variety of biological functions and are important for maintaining good health. In fact, we can’t live without them.
Both essential and nonessential fatty acids are required by our bodies – so why is one group called “essential” and the other “nonessential”? Well, nonessential fatty acids (such as Omega-7 and Omega-9) are those that can be manufactured by the human body—therefore, it is not necessarily essential for us to obtain them through diet. Essential fatty acids (EFAs), on the other hand, are fatty acids that are required by humans, but cannot be created in sufficient quantity by the body. They must therefore be obtained through diet. There are only two families of EFAs: Omega-3 fatty acids (parent molecule: alpha-linolenic acid) and Omega-6 fatty acids (parent molecule: linoleic acid). All other fatty acids can be produced by the human body. Interestingly, it should be noted that Omega-9 is not considered “essential” since our bodies can produce it in modest amounts—however, we can only produce it if there are sufficient essential fatty acids Omega-3 and -6 present.
And what do these fatty acids do for us? Here are a few of their benefits:
Omega-3: Anti-inflammatory; anti-coagulant; play a crucial role in brain function, growth and development; help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, skin conditions, depression
Omega-6: Maintain healthy skin, hair and nails; help maintain emotional and hormonal balance; reduce symptoms of serious skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis; prevent diabetic neuropathy; relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Omega-7: Rarely found in the plant kingdom; support and soothe skin and mucous membranes; assist with skin repair and cell regeneration; promote the healing of skin conditions, including burns, sores, wounds, and more serious skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea
Omega-9: May lower cholesterol levels, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease; improve immune function; provide protection against certain types of cancer; nourish and protect skin, hair, and nails
So, Omega fatty acids—both essential and nonessential—are vital to human health. Without them, we couldn’t live. Yet, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance of these fatty acids, particularly the EFAs Omega-3 and -6. Studies have shown that an imbalance of these EFAs can be detrimental to human health. Many health experts and researchers recommend a ratio of 1:1 – 1:4 Omega-3 to Omega-6. Unfortunately, most North Americans and Europeans consume far too much Omega-6 compared to their intake of the rarer Omega-3. In fact, according to some sources the typical American diet contains 14 to 25 times more Omega-6 than Omega-3. Too much Omega-6 may contribute to a number of health issues, including asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, and obesity. Sea Buckthorn is an ideal source of these important EFAs, as its seed oil naturally contains a perfect 1:1 balance of the two fatty acids.
Sea Buckthorn is a remarkable natural source of both essential and nonessential fatty acids. Its bright orange little fruit are packed with high levels of Omega-7 and -9, as well as EFAs Omega-3 and -6 in perfect ratio. It’s a great source of the fatty acids so important to maintaining good health—both externally and internally!