It isn’t always easy to ascertain if or when you are running low in certain nutrients, the signs are quite often overlooked, or merge with a plethora of other potential causes! So what signs should you keep your antenna leaning towards when trying to keep on top of your Omega oils and other fatty acids.
Various signs of potential fatty acid deficiency exists, but some of the main ones to look out for are excessive thirst, frequent urination, rough, dry or scaly skin, dry or lifeless hair, dandruff, and soft, weak and brittle nails. One of the most common signs of low fatty acid levels is follicular keratosis which manifests as small raised bumps on the skin as a result of dry, hard skin around the hair follicles. It makes sense if you think about the most common symptoms i.e. dry, scaly skin, weak, dry hair etc etc, and consider the characteristics of fatty acids and omega oils…they are lubricative in nature so a lack of these would likely lead to dryness and weakness in certain areas.
Other potential clinical signs of potential fatty acid deficiency, particularly omega-3 and 6 fatty acids might include allergic or atopic tendancies (eczema, asthma, hayfever etc), visual issues such as poor night vision, sensitivity to bright lights or trouble when reading. People may also notice attention deficits and difficulty staying focused, and sleep problems including difficulty settling for sleep, and trouble rousing in the morning.
NOTE: Many of these symptoms can be caused by other things and may not be a categorical sign that you are deficient in fatty acids. If you think your daily intake of the following is low, then chances are you might be low in some fatty acids:
- Brussels sprouts
- Winter squash
Richardson, A & Ross, M. (2003). FAB Research Factsheet 002 - Physical Signs of Fatty Acid Deficiency. Retrieved 6th February, 2014, from http://www.fabresearch.org/view_item.aspx?item_id=1493&list_id=list1-253&list_index=3
The world’s healthiest foods, (2013). Omega-3 fatty acids. Retrieved 6th February, 2014, from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84