Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Omega 3 and Omega 6

The lipids in the diet of  the animals are the source of polyunsaturated fatty acids long chain. These "good" fats are indispensable for the welfare of animals, that is why they are called "essential" (EFA, Essential Fatty Acids), but since they are not produced by the body they must be taken through the diet. Essential fatty acids are divided into two main families: Omega 3 and Omega 6 series.

  • OMEGA 3 SERIES include linolenic acid, or EPA eicosapentonoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. EPA and DHA are the most important long-chain fatty acids of omega 3 and play a structural and functional role. These fats can be found in fish.
  • OMEGA 6 SERIES instead, include the linoleic acid and the arachidonic acid, not primarily of plant origin. The dog, like most mammals must take the linoleic acid and linolenic acid through the diet even if it has an endogenous production of arachidonic acid for elongation and desaturation of the carbon chain of linoleic acid. The cat however, is unable to synthesize the arachidonic acid in the liver because it lacks of specific enzymes. Linoleic acid is essential for the maintenance of the skin function because it regulates water permeability. It 's also the precursor of many other substances involved in growth, in the proper maintenance of cell membranes, skin and hair, as well as aiding the transport of lipids in the blood stream. Arachidonic acid is essential for the functions that depend on eicosanoids, such as reproductive function and platelet aggregation. From the arachidonic acid, following the action of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenases, are formed prostaglandins and leukotrienes, compounds involved in inflammatory processes and functionality of the immune system and triglycerides and cholesterol metabolism. A deficiency of essential fatty acids leads to the appearance of alterations in skin with negative consequences for both the skin and the hair. These substances, in fact, are involved in maintaining the epidermal barrier and in the rate of turnover of skin cells. The lack of this component, in the diet of young subjects, may also lead to delays in growth.

Proper intake of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids :

  • Promotes proper function of the skin
  • It protects the cardiovascular system
  • Attenuates inflammatory reactions
  • Promotes the vitality of the central nervous system cells
  • Stimulation of the immune

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