This oil is considered to be the best nutritional oil for health because its essential fatty acid (EFA) profile is closest to that required by the human body. Essential fatty acids are termed as such because the body cannot manufacture them. Therefore, they must continually be replenished in the diet. EFAs are not stored or used for energy as are other fats. Instead, they are used as raw materials for cell structure and as precursors for the synthesis of many of the body’s vital biochemicals, including hormones and prostaglandins.
Hemp seeds are the only natural source to boast of having the ideal ratio of EFAs required by the human body, which is roughly 3:1 of omega-6 to omega-3, the two most important EFAs. Flax oil ranks second as a valuable EFA source, but flax seed is not in the optimal proportion. Rather, it has the opposite ratio – 1:3. After about two years of regular use, flax seed can eventually cause omega-6 deficiency symptoms.
By weight, hemp seed is 30-35% oil, of which 80% consists of polyunsaturated EFAs, specifically the two most important ones – linoleic acid (LA – omega-6 at 60%) and linolenic acid (LNA or ALA – omega-3 at 20%). These are the parent compounds which build longer-chain fatty acids. LNA then converts to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) – two of the most critically needed forms of EFA and LA converts to AA (arachidonic acid), which has opposite effects of those from DHA.
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