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Exclusive Online Expanded Version—The Essential in Fats: A Global Perspective for Healthy Skin Cells

By: Alexandra J. Zani
Posted: March 5, 2014, from the March 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 11

Clarity and health in older age. The consumption of a variety of natural food nutrients and those including adequate levels of EFAs help maintain suitable levels of n-3 DHA and n-6 AA to ensure that humans reach their later years without the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. The elderly require an increase of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PuFa) and overall balanced nutritional food intake. Skin barriers decline with age including lipid synthesis and the stratum corneum acidification.

 

Essential exposé on fats

Natural fats (solid) and oils (liquid) are organic compounds that are very important to health and cell function.3 They are made up of molecules called triglycerides. Fatty acids are also called lipids and are found in vegetable oils, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, palm and coconut oils, nuts and seeds.

Essential for life, fats have primary and regulatory roles in the body. They:

  • Are an important energy source;
  • Are a key component for creating strong cell membranes;
  • Serve as fundamental elements of several essential lipids, such as phospholipids and trigycerides;
  • Play a significant role in cell-to-cell signaling; and
  • Combine with proteins and carbohydrates to form active molecules.4

When consumed, fats are emulsified in the stomach by bile. They continue to travel into the duodenum canal to be broken down further by pancreatic enzymes. They absorb through the walls of the gastrointestinal tract in the duodenal region where they are reassembled into triglycerides and transported via the lymphatic system into the blood that carries it to the liver.5 They are either directed to make other lipidic structures, such as cell membranes, or are stored for energy and future use.