In ways that are poorly understood and require further study, EFAs seem to be involved in electron and energy transport. EFAs are involved in the transport (esterification) of cholesterol. ALA and its derivatives can lower elevated blood fats (serum triglycerides) by up to 65%.
EFAs help keep body fats fluid. They help generate the electrical currents that make our heart beat in orderly sequence. Heart tissue requires LA for proper functioning.
EFAs are found around the hereditary material (chromatin) in our chromosomes, where they may play a part in maintaining chromosome stability, and may have functions in starting and stopping gene expression. EFAs help energize and govern the movement of chromosomes during cell division by their functions in spindle fiber development, and they form part of the new cell membranes that separate the daughter cells after a cell has divided. EFAs help our immune system resist and fight infections, and prevent allergies from developing.
EFAs can buffer excess acid as well as excess base in our body and are the richest source of energy in nutrition. In short, essential fatty acids govern every life process in our body. Life without them is impossible. When our foods are EFA-poor, we can expect a diversity of health problems.
Other ALA functions
ALA produces smooth, velvety skin, increases stamina, speeds healing, increases vitality, and brings a feeling of calmness. ALA reduces inflammation, water retention, platelet stickiness, and blood pressure. It also inhibits the growth of tumors. ALA enhances some immune functions, reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, and completely reverses premenstrual syndrome in some cases. Remember however, that ALA can unfold its important functions only as part of a complete program that contains all 50 essential factors.
ALA kills malaria (animal studies), and has been used successfully to treat bacterial (staph) infections.
In children, ALA is required for brain development. In animals, deficiency of ALA during fetal development and early infancy results in permanent learning disabilities.