The Truth about
the Essential Fatty Acids!
The most common type of fats and oils are
triglycerides. Triglycerides are made from a combination of
three fatty acid molecules and one glycerol molecule.
L ---------- Fatty Acid
C ---------- Fatty Acid
R ---------- Fatty Acid
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
are so called because they cannot be produced by your cat
or dog and thus must be supplied by their diet.
Dogs require one EFA, known as LINOLEIC ACID.
Cats require two types LINOLEIC and ARACHIDONIC ACID. Both
of these are classified as Omega 6 EFAs.
SOURCES OF OMEGA 6
Hemp, Pumpkin, Sunflower, Safflower, Sesame,
Corn, Chicken oil, Evening Primrose oil, Walnut and Beans.
FUNCTIONS OF OMEGA
Deficiencies of Omega 6 may result in: limited
growth and reproduction, weight loss, eczema, hair loss and
an increased susceptibility to infections.
It is also useful in preventing fluid retention,
reducing blood pressure and aiding wound healing.
Omega 3 EFAs are structurally similar to Omega
6 EFAs . However, at the moment Omega 3 is not considered
essential for cats and dogs, as the dietary requirements have
not yet been specified.
Although, research has suggested that Omega
3 may have an affect on the fatty acids of cell membranes,
in turn affecting the molecules involved in inflammation,
thus may make it beneficial for pets suffering from arthritis
(Logas et al, 1991).
SOURCES OF OMEGA 3
Marine Fish oils e.g. Herring, salmon, sardines,
tuna, flax (linseed), hemp, spinach and pumpkin seed.
FUNCTIONS OF OMEGA
Abnormalities due to deficiencies of Omega
3 have not yet been proved although they are thought to be
Reducing inflammation, controlling cholesterol
and fat levels, helping immune function and metabolism, helping
correct brain functioning and keeping the blood thin (Eskimos
have a low incidence of heart disease but bleed easily due
to high levels of Omega 3 in their fish diet).
There are two principal Omega 3 types:
(1) DHA docosahexaenoic acid, which is recommended
for the structure of cell membranes, especially in the eye,
brain, heart and skin.
(2) EPA Eicosapentaenoic acid, which is anti-inflammatory
and anti-aggregatory (prevents the blood platelets grouping
together to form clots).
However, large doses of fatty acids may be
harmful to the health of your pet, they are an unstable structure
and can be easily oxidised, which may impair their function.
Long term supplementation with Omega 3 may produce a deficiency
in Omega 6.
Therefore, it may be worth considering Burns
Canine Fish and Brown Rice (containing marine fish from the
North Sea, with an oil content of 8-9% and a suitable balance
of Omega 3 and Omega 6),
Burns Feline Maintenance, which contains chicken
and fish oil.
We do not usually recommend supplements with
Burns Real Food and suggest that advice be sought from us
with regards to this.
Our nutritional advice line is 0800 083 66 96 or contact