We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Fatty Acids?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Fatty acids are acids produced when fats are broken down. They are considered “good fats.” These acids are not highly soluble in water, and they can be used for energy by most types of cells. They may be monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, or saturated. They are organic, or in other words, they contain both carbon and hydrogen molecules.

Fatty acids are found in oils and other fats that make up different foods. They are an important part of a healthy diet, because the body needs them for several purposes. They help move oxygen through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. They aid cell membrane development, strength, and function, and they are necessary for strong organs and tissue.

Fatty acids can also help keep skin healthy, help prevent early aging, and may promote weight loss by helping the body process cholesterol. More importantly, they help rid the arteries of cholesterol build up. Another purpose of these acids is to assist the adrenal and thyroid glands, which may also help regulate weight.

There are different types of fatty acids. You have most likely heard of certain types, such as Omega-3. Omega-3 is considered an “essential” fatty acid, as is Omega-6. There is one other, Omega-9, but this type can be readily produced by the body, while the other two types cannot.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are found in fish and certain plants. Since they cannot be produced in the body, they must be ingested in the form of foods or natural supplements. However, it is important to discuss all supplements with your healthcare provider before you begin taking them.

Essential fatty acids are required to retain healthy lipid levels in the blood. They are also necessary for proper clotting and regulated blood pressure. Another important function is controlling inflammation in cases of infection or injury. They can also help the immune system to react properly.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon997128 — On Nov 18, 2016

Blueberry muffin mix has fatty acids in it.

By anon275971 — On Jun 21, 2012

Can someone help me find out how would fatty acids help with using energy and producing energy?

By Fiorite — On Jul 02, 2010

@ Alchemy- there is a good type of trans-fat. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is the fat found in lamb, beef, full fat dairy products, and supplement store shelves.

Scientists are studying CLA’s link to weight loss and osteoporosis prevention. This is why doctors say milk is part of a healthy diet.

Scientists have not found a direct link to the fat loss attributes of CLA and weight loss, rather CLA helps to prevent fat build up on the midsection.

CLA also helps to maintain lean muscle mass, which in turn allows the body to burn fat faster. This is the reason athletes and body builder’s supplement with CLA.

By Alchemy — On Jul 02, 2010

Trans-isomer fatty acids are the bad fatty acids found in trans-fats. These fatty acids increase LDL cholesterol, lower HDL cholesterol, and increase the risk of coronary heart disease.

These fatty acids are found in some monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and offer no benefit to the human body. This is the reason for all of the bans on trans-fats that states are passing. Trans-fats are a large contributor to the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the country. Trans-fats also increase the risk for diseases like diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, liver failure, and female infertility.

A key ingredient to look for when trying to reduce trans-fatty acids is partially hydrogenated oils. These fats are manufactured to be hybrids of unsaturated and saturated fats. In the hydrogenation process, the oils create large amounts of trans-fats.

All fats can be bad, but trans-fatty acids are the worst. They are the only fat that both raises LDL and lowers HDL. This is why butter is healthier than margarine.

By zoid — On Oct 13, 2009

I love "fatty" fish, like salmon and tuna, that provide Omega 3s. But for people who don't eat meat, you can also get fatty acids from vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, and garlic, as well as many other fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.