Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) – contain at least two double bonds in their structure. They are most frequently divided into two subgroups: omega 3 and 6. PUFAs belong to essential unsaturated fatty acids – the body cannot synthesise them endogenously and they must be supplied with food. Their biological activity in the body consists in its role as a precursor to various eicosanoids.
PUFAs promote mainly cardiovascular health. They are an effective preventive measure against cardiovascular diseases. They inhibit blood platelet aggregation, may lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
Proper intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids is also of key importance to maintain a healthy brain. PUFAs promote normal development of the nervous system and its healthy function, thereby influencing beneficially cognitive functions. Their adequate consumption is believed to delay ageing processes.
Supplementation with PUFAs is recommended to individuals on a slimming diet because they help control body mass. What is more, they may prevent the development of cancer. Deficiencies in polyunsaturated fatty acids in a diet may also promote immunodeficiency.