Fatty Acid Functions– Argan Oil Benefits
Body fat represents the primary form in which energy is stored in the body. Since it is an essential constituent of the cell membrane, all tissues contain some fat. In addition, the body has a group of specialized cells, called adipose cells, whose main function is the storage of fat.
Although the size of the cells may increase in the adult in response to a need for more storage sites for fat, there is considerable evidence that the number of adipose cells is determined within the first few years of life.
If this is the case, the amount of fat stored will be a function of the extent to which the adipose cells are saturated with fat rather than of the rate of increase in number of cells. Once fat has been formed and deposited in the adipose tissues, the body has no way of excreting it.
Thus, the only way in which body fat can be reduced is by oxidizing, or burning, it as a source of energy when caloric intake is less than caloric expenditure.
As an essential constituent of the membrane of each individual cell, fat helps to regulate the uptake and excretion of nutrients by the cell.
Deposits of fat beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat) serve as insulating material for the body, protecting it against shock from changes in environmental temperature. Here again, a certain minimum layer is desirable to prevent excessive heat loss from the body, but too thick a layer slows down the rate of heat loss during hot weather, with resultant discomfort to the individual. Thick subcutaneous fat layers impede physical movement and present many aesthetic problems.
Protection Of Vital Body Organs
The fat deposits that surround certain vital organs and that are the last depots to be reduced when there is a caloric deficit serve to hold them in position and to protect them from physical shock. The kidneys and the heart are protected in this way.
Lowering Of Blood Cholesterol
Efforts to lower blood cholesterol levels by dietary manipulation were made after studies on rabbits showed that a restriction of dietary cholesterol resulted in lower levels of cholesterol in the blood.
A certain amount of cholesterol is essential for the synthesis of sex hormones, for the transport of essential fatty acids, and as a constituent of the skin and covering of nerve fibers.