Vitamin F is an outdated term for two essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6. These fats' primary function is to repair and create tissue in the body. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that they make up be 1 to 2 percent of the total daily caloric intake for adults. They also help with general metabolism, healing, and hair and skin growth.
People who bruise easily often have a shortage of essential fatty acids. Other signs of deficiency include scratches that are slow to heal, dull hair, and dry eyes. People with low levels of these substances can suffer from eczema or dry skin. They also aid digestion by helping the intestines produce bacteria for the digestion process.
Supplement capsules provide the FDA recommendations for vitamin F. The capsules generally need to be kept in a location that is dry, cool, and dark — too much light and heat can cause the fatty acids to break down, thereby making the capsules useless for the body. A refrigerator can be an excellent location to store this supplement. Consumers typically should check the supplement capsules to be sure the supplement offers both types of fatty acids. To reduce the number of different nutritional supplements taken daily, a person could look for a vitamin supplement that has vitamin F as one of its ingredients.
One way to increase the amount of fatty acids is to eat one or two servings of cold-water fish every day. Baked salmon or broiled trout are excellent sources of fatty acids. Other fish that a person could consider eating include mackerel and tuna.
Nuts are another potent source for fatty acids. A snack of unsalted sunflower seeds can be an excellent choice; walnuts can be eaten raw or used in recipes. For example, a person could sprinkle walnuts and sunflower seeds on a salad instead of croutons to gain his or her daily intake of omega-3s and omega-6s.
There are several oil supplements that could be added to the diet as well. Many of these supplements, such as grape seed oil, are available in capsule form. Evening primrose oil not only increases fatty acids but is also taken for other benefits.
Cooking oils, such as flax seed oil, canola oil, and walnut oil, add flavor to foods while providing an addition of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to the diet. By cooking in these oils, many people are able to lower unwanted cholesterol in their diets. The vitamin F in these oils helps the body properly metabolize and use fatty acids to decrease cholesterol problems.
Vitamin F is generally considered safe for daily consumption. It does not interact with most medications. A person should always consult with his or her health care provider when adding a nutritional supplement to the diet.