Hemp seed is rich in essential fatty acids, also known as polyunsaturated fats. Since these are not naturally produced by the body, the only way to avoid being deficient is to consume it from an external source, such as certain vegetable or fish oils. Hemp seed oil has an advantage over other oils. It contains linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, which are respectively the essential fatty acids polyunsaturated: omega 6 and omega 3, and this, in a ratio adequate for human food, that is to say 3:1. [1] The presence of gamma-linolenic acid is also reported. It is a type of omega 6 that gives hemp oil a higher nutritional value compared to most other vegetable oils because it completes the dietary intake of omega 3.


Among the myriad of benefits attributed to this essential fatty acid, there are anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic effects and it has been reported that this compound may have an inhibitory effect on certain types of cancer and tumor growth. In addition, this fat tends to increase the general metabolism and thus helps weight loss. It has also been shown to be effective in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It helps normalize fat metabolism and decrease insulin dependence in diabetics. It has also demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory properties specifically for the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. [i]


However, it is very important to maintain a good ratio of omega 6 and omega 3, because when overused, essential fatty acids can have negative effects on health. Excess consumption of omega 6, for example, can cause inflammatory effects on the tissues and also cause certain health disorders, including cardiovascular diseases, asthma and type 2 diabetes, to name a few. It is therefore crucial to measure your intake of essential fatty acids.


[1] Here the literature does not agree on the ideal ratio. Some sources have a ratio of 4:1 while others say 5:1. In the absence of consensus, it seems prudent to adhere to the most conservative ratio.


[i] Leizer, Cary, David Ribnicky, Alexander Poulev, Slavik Dushenkov & Ilya Raskin. 2000. The Composition of Hemp Seed Oil and its Potential as an Important Source of Nutrition . Journal of Nutraceuticals, Functional & Medical Foods Vol. 2 (4). The Haworth Press, Inc.

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