Why are fatty acids important for the brain?
Approximately 35% of our brain’s lipids are made up of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Brain cell membranes, the outer layer of the cell, are rich in fatty acids, which studies suggest may help ‘gate keep’ what can come in and out of the cell.6 Without PUFAs the membrane may not function as it is intended to.
Because of their important role in the regulation of your cells, PUFAs are important for different reasons throughout your lifespan. They are essential as key regulators of neurotransmission, neurogenesis, stress response, inflammation and emotional states.
PUFAs contain a class of fatty acids called essential fatty acids, which are vital for good health. Of these essential fatty acids there are two types, linoleic and alpha-linolenic, that can’t be synthesised or produced by your body. To ensure you have enough, you will need to consume them in your diet through food sources or supplements.