Chia seed oil is among the highest known of high quality unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).
Chia seed oil rates a top score by far – 81.2, followed by its closest competitors – safflower oil, with a 75, and sunflower oil with a 67. Oil of the chia seed has been found extremely high in the polyunsaturated fatty acid linolenic acid (omega-3) oil: 60.8 percent. This is highly significant for your and my good health and well-being.
The most important PUFA, linoleic acid is richly present in chia oil. However, the business-as-usual way of processing may convert linoleic acid from its active cis form to its inactive trans form. In other words, processing may cancel its essential fatty acid (EFA) effectiveness.
George and Mildred Burr found that without EFAs in their diet, animals showed an amazing range of symptoms: poor and slow growth, failure to reproduce, falling hair, and a host of unsightly skin ailments.
First the skin became scaly, then it broke out into a rash, with lesions resembling those of eczema. The animals developed numerous blood clots, hemorrhages, wounds that refused to heal, and showed an amazing susceptibility to infections. David Horrobin found that the skin throughout the body became porous, leaking water and leading to a perilous loss of body fluids.
EFAs play two vital roles in every organ of the body. Here is how Dr. Horrobin explains it:
"The EFAs are part of the structure of every single tissue in the body, especially the brain, where very large amounts of EFA are found. The EFAs are major components of all cell
membranes within the body. Without normal amounts of EFAs in the membranes, membranes become stiff and unable to function properly.
"The EFAs can give rise to very short-lived substances called prostaglandins (PGs). PGs play a role in regulating second-by-second function of every part of the body. Each organ produces its own PGs; these PGs are made from the EFAs stored in the organ, perform their functions, and then are almost instantly destroyed so that they cannot influence what is happening in other organs. Each organ, therefore, has its own PGs which perform their specific tasks."
Linolenic acid translates into alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which converts to EPA and DHA, necessary for the formation of certain prostaglandins.