Vitamin F (unsaturated fatty acids)
Description & Actions
Vitamin F is a fat-soluble vitamin consisting of the unsaturated fatty acids. These usually come in the form of liquid vegetable oils, while saturated fatty acids are found in animal fat. This vitamin is important for respiration of vital organs, and helps lubricate the cells. It is essential for normal glandular activity and helps regulate blood coagulation, it also helps break up cholesterol deposits on the arterial walls.
Vitamin F works in tandem with Vitamin D in the body in making calcium available to the tissues, assisting in the assimilation of phosphorus, and stimulating the conversion of carotene into vitamin A. It is essential for the normal functioning of the reproductive system, it nourishes skin cells and is needed for healthy mucous membranes and nerves.
Deficiency Symptoms & RDA
Symptoms of those deficient in vitamin F are brittle nails, brittle/dull hair, dandruff, eczema, allergic conditions, varicose veins and diarrhea. The is no RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for this vitamin, but it should be contained in approximately 10% of total daily calories. Men need five times more than women.
Unsaturated fatty acids have been used to treat leg ulcers. Psorasis, asthma, arthritis and hay fever symptoms have also been reduced with the use of this vitamin. It has been a popular nutrient used in the prevention of heart disease. Some ailments that may benefit from vitamin F are:
- high cholesterol
- multiple sclerosis
- muscle cramps
Vitamin F is more effective when taken with:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
There are no known toxic effects of vitamin F, but excessive amounts may cause metabolic disturbances and weight gain.