More than 66% of Westerners are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary choices can contribute to Westerners’ expanding waistlines, there may be more to the story.
Research has found that a deficiency in the Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acid, Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), can actually inhibit healthy weight loss and weight control. In fact, recent studies suggest that obesity is linked with low levels of GLA.
GLA assists in weight loss by significantly increasing metabolism and encouraging stored fat to effectively be used for energy. GLA activates brown adipose tissue (BAT), which is an active tissue that burns calories for heat. When BAT is actively functioning, it acts as a powerful mechanism for weight loss and weight control. Studies report that BAT is less active in people who are overweight.
In addition, GLA also activates the metabolic process through its role in providing the nutrients necessary to control the sodium potassium pump in each cell of the body. The sodium potassium pump is essential for cellular homeostasis and when it’s functioning properly, it can use up to 20-50% of daily caloric energy. Thus, if the pump is not working effectively, the body will store this unused energy as fat.
As important as GLA is for an effective weight management, the challenge is that it only occurs in a very small number of foods in nature. As its name implies, it’s an essential fatty acid, meaning that it must be obtained from the diet.
I recommend Hemp as the best source of GLA due to it’s easy to assimilate and naturally balanced profile of essential fatty acids.