How to Improve Absorption of Essential Fatty Acids

Overview

Getting past the myths and stigmas regarding fats, and labeling them all as bad, it is now becoming clear that essential fatty acids, particularly Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, are not only good for you but crucial for many bodily functions. These essential fatty acids can be found in foods such as salmon, nuts, flaxseed oil, olive oil and other sources of what are now considered healthy fats. Essential fatty acids are critical for proper brain development and healthy skin, nails and hair. Because many of us don't get the necessary amounts of essential fatty acids from the foods we eat, pills and supplements can be taken in lieu of natural food sources. There are additional things you can do to increase your own absorption of these healthy fats.

Getting Started

Step 1

Store supplements or essential fatty acid pills somewhere cool and dark. Sunlight and heat will strip the pills of their effectiveness, and you will not be able to absorb them as well as you should. Keep pills in the refrigerator, and make sure they are not exposed to light. Too much light will make them ineffective.

Step 2

Keep on top of the expiration dates on the pills. They will not work as well as they should after these dates.

Step 3

Reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Because saturated fat is linked with higher bad cholesterol levels, it is referred to as the "bad" kind of fat. To increase your body's ability to absorb "good" fat, limit saturated fat in your diet. Sources of "bad" fat are animal products, sweets and overly refined foods. Look at the nutritional facts on foods you eat to help reduce "bad" fat.

Step 4

Keep fat to 30 percent or less of your diet. Take into account the amount of essential fatty acids you are getting from your supplements and diet. Then combine that with any other amounts of fat.

Step 5

Cut out other EFA (essential fatty acid) inhibitors. Along with saturated fat, try to take out any partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. Read the ingredients label on foods to determine if these are present. Limit intake of margarine, deep-fried foods and many processed foods. Cutting back on refined sugar and alcohol will also help absorb EFAs.

Step 6

Add other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, magnesium, zinc and a vitamin B-complex will increase the body's ability to absorb essential fatty acids. Sometimes these elements can be found in EFA supplements, but you can also get these nutrients from foods or other vitamin tablets.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure the manufacturer you are buying supplements from is reputable and that what you are receiving is what you had in mind. There aren't many regulations pertaining to supplements, so be extra cautious with your purchases.

Things You'll Need

  • Essential fatty acid pills
  • Vitamins

References

  • Essential fatty acid
  • Healthy Fats
  • Good fats
Keywords: improve EFA absorption, essential fatty acid absorption, increase EFA absorption

About this Author

Paul Parsons is a freelance writer, living in Houston, Texas. Parsons writes from an array of different topics, but specializes in medical, personal finance, computers and business.

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