Two types of essential fatty acids

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Excessive fat is always associated with obesity, but normal level of fat is essential to our health. Proper kinds and mount of fats help maintain our body’s function and overall health including eyes. Fatty acids are indispensable in forming fats. These nutrients help in the normal production and functioning of cells, muscles, nerves and organs as well as the regulation of blood pressure, heart rate and blood clotting. Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are two types of essential fatty acids, which can only acquired from external foods. The human body can not produce these essential fatty acids.

Plenty of studies focus on the role of omega-3 fatty acids in affecting eye health. Deficiencies of omega-3 have been linked to some eye problems such as impaired vision, retina damage and high intraocular pressure. In contrast, high consumption of foods plentiful in omega-3 is suggested to reduce the risk of several vision problems. For instance, eating two servings of fish or more every week can significantly reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

Foods rich in omega-3 also play a key role in dry eye syndrome (DES) prevention among women. Women taking the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids have a much lower rate of DES than those containing the lowest level of omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna is particularly effective in protecting against DES in women.

The balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is especially important, since improper ratios may lead to harmful effects. A 15:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 can bring 2.5 times increased risk of DES in women. Other healthy problems associated with imbalance of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids include heart disease, cancer, asthma, arthritis and depression.