Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Essential Fatty Acid

Any of a group of unsaturated fatty acids termed essential because the growing infant cannot synthesize them fast enough for healthy growth, hence they must be in the normal diet. Sources of EFAs include vegetable oils, animal fats, and organisms in the marine food chain. Principal EFAs include arachidonic acid and linolenic acid.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"