Essential Fatty Acids

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Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Why We Need Them, and How To Get Them


Essential fatty acids are - as their name suggests - essential for good health. Insufficient amounts or unbalanced ratios of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the body lead to deficiencies that can cause a number of symptoms, including dry and flaky skin, and dryness of eyes, mouth, and scalp; deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can have negative effects on mental health, and excesses of omega-6 not balanced with the appropriate amount of omega-3 can lead to inflammation.

Sources of these are linoleic acid (LA) and linolenic acid (ALA), and these can be found in fish and sea products, as well as plants such as flax and hemp. Aviva offers a variety of supplements for ensuring you get enough of these important fatty acids, and many are suitable for vegetarians and vegans; our selection includes evening primrose oil, borage oil, sunflower lecithin, royal jelly, and black currant seed oil. We also feature omega-3 supplements, usually derived from ocean dwelling creatures such as krill and fish, or alternatively from flax and hemp; for the differences between supplementation with fish oil and flax oil, see our article on the subject.

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