Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. ...Hippocrates
Contemporary Western diet is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. This tilted balance may be in favor of diseases. Research shows that the higher the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids in platelet phospholipids, the higher is the death rate from cardiovascular disease. Due to increased intake of omega-6 fatty acids, eicosanoid metabolic products from AA, specifically prostaglandins, thromoxanes, leukotrienes, hydroxy fatty acids, and lipoxins, are formed in larger quantities than those from omega-3 fatty acids. If eicosanoids are formed in large amounts, they lead to the formation of thrombi and atheromas: the development of allergic and inflammatory disorders, particularly in susceptible people.
Studies have also shown that deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids brings about metabolic disorders. It is indicated that as the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids increases, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes also increases.
Oily fish and seafood are rich source of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that the brain needs. ALA, the parent essential fatty acid of omega-3 series, is found in dark green leafy vegetables and certain nuts and seeds, but levels of both ALA and the more important omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) tends to be very low in many modern diets.
Various enzymes and hormones play role in balancing the reservoir of fatty acids. Studies have shown that males are particularly vulnerable to highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) deficiency. This also explains why males are largely affected by dyspraxia and other related disorders. In females, oestrogen helps to conserve to highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) under conditions of dietary deprivation, while in males testosterone can inhibit highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) synthesis.
Highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) deficiency can also be caused by inefficiency of the enzymes responsible for recycling them. Highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) are replaced and recycled during remodeling of cell membranes and in the chemical cascades triggered by normal cell signaling processes. Enzymes from a group known as phospholipase A2 (PLA2) help remove highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) from membrane phospholipids creating free fatty acids, which are vulnerable to destruction by oxidation. There is scientific evidence for both excessive highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) breakdown and recycling problems in disorders such as dyspraxia.