Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

Functional Endocrinology: Essential Fatty Acids in Hormones

All fats, including saturated fatty acids, have very important roles in the body. The most important fats are the ones that the body can’t make and must be coming from the foods that a person eats.  Essential fatty acids are lipids that are involved in various biological processes and produce many compounds when they are metabolized in the body. The two primary EFAs (essential fatty acids) are linoleic acid (Omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-3). These two omegas are essential for the body since they are consumed from dietary sources because the body does not have the ability to synthesize them and EFAs are synthesized into prostaglandins, which are necessary for proper hormone signaling in the body.



Omega-6 fatty acids or linoleic acid are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are primarily used for energy and can be converted into longer omega-6 fats called ARA (arachidonic acid). ARA are used to produce eicosanoids, but they are prone to be more pro-inflammatory. Studies have shown that pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are important chemicals in the immune systems, however, when there are too many to produce, they can increase inflammation and inflammatory diseases in the body.

Researchers state that even though omega-6 fats are essential for a healthy body, the modern Western diet is making individuals consume more omega-6 fatty acids than the recommended amount. In a regular healthy diet, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3s is 4:1 or less. In a Western diet however, the ratio is between 10:1 and 50:1.

Even though, an individual should consume the recommended amount of omega-6 fatty acids, research has shown that omega-6 fatty acids can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and treat symptoms that cause chronic diseases. In certain oils that contains omega-6 fatty acids, GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), which is an anti-inflammatory component and when consumed it converts to DGLA (dihomo-gamma-linolenic acids), which has anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties against cancer.

A study has shown that when an individual takes a high dose of GLA in their diet, it can significantly reduce a number of symptoms caused by rheumatoid arthritis, and another study found that taking GLA supplements with a breast cancer drug is more effective in lowering breast cancer.



Just like omega-6 fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that play important roles in providing a number of health benefits for a functional body. Omega-3 fatty acids contain three important compounds that are found in foods, they are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid); which converts into energy for the body, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid); which is the key component for a functional brain and retina, and lastly, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid); which has cardiovascular benefits including lowering serum triglyceride and non-HDL-C (non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) in the body.

When it comes to those three important components in omega-3s, ALA is mainly found in plants, while DHA and EPA are found in mostly animal products and algae. What makes these three components work well in the omega-3 supplements is that they are a crucial part of the human cell membrane and improve heart health, support mental health, decrease liver fats and fight inflammation.

With omega-3 fatty acids, lots of people don’t consume it as much as omega-6, due to not eating a lot of fatty fish as often and consuming omega-6 through fried food being cooked in refined vegetable oils. To balance a healthy diet, individuals can take an omega-3 supplement to balance out the omega-6 consumption to make sure the body is receiving these fatty health benefits.


Prostaglandins are a component of this regulatory system, they affect multiple hormone synthesis and secretion pathways in the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. They are a group of endogenously occurring acidic lipids that appear to play a role in the reproductive physiology.


Since prostaglandins are bioactive lipids, they exert an autocrine or paracrine function by binding to specific GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors) to activate intracellular signaling and gene transcription. As key regulators of reproductive processes, prostaglandins has many functions like having a role in the hypothalamic and pituitary control of gonadotropin secretion, ovulation, in luteinization and in the corpus luteum regression.

Prostaglandins also play a key role in the inflammatory response in the body. Their biosynthesis is significantly increased in inflamed tissues and can contribute to the development of the cardinal signs of acute inflammation in the body.

Researchers stated that prostaglandins have a plethora of actions in the central nervous system that can affect the progress of inflammation in the body differently, however, further studies are being tested to inhibit the role of these lipid mediators.


All fats play a very important role in the body. Essential fatty acids produce many compounds in the body when they are being metabolized in the body. Since the body can not produce essential fatty acids, they have to be consumed through food. The two important essential fatty acids are omega-6 and omega-3. These two fatty supplements help the body gain the nutrients the body needs to synthesize. Prostaglandins are also a key role in the body since they affect the pathways in the hypothalamus-pituitary axis and plays the role of regulating the reproductive physiology. Some products are formulated to target the immune support by creating micronized structure to increase the surface-to-volume ratio of particles to be more available to enzymatic actions.

October is Chiropractic Health Month. To learn more about it, check out Governor Abbott’s proclamation on our website to get full details on this declaration.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .


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Behrman, H R. “Prostaglandins in Hypothalamo-Pituitary and Ovarian Function.” Annual Review of Physiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1979, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/373605.

Brinton, Eliot A, and R Preston Mason. “Prescription Omega-3 Fatty Acid Products Containing Highly Purified Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA).” Lipids in Health and Disease, BioMed Central, 31 Jan. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28137294.

Calder, Philip C. “n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Inflammation, and Inflammatory Diseases.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16841861.

Di Pasquale, Mauro G. “The Essentials of Essential Fatty Acids.” Journal of Dietary Supplements, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22435414.

Dinan, Timothy, et al. “Investigating the Inflammatory Phenotype of Major Depression: Focus on Cytokines and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids.” Journal of Psychiatric Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18640689.

Gibson, Robert A, et al. “Conversion of Linoleic Acid and Alpha-Linolenic Acid to Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFAs), with a Focus on Pregnancy, Lactation and the First 2 Years of Life.” Maternal & Child Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21366864.

Guesnet, Philippe, and Jean-Marc Alessandri. “Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and the Developing Central Nervous System (CNS) – Implications for Dietary Recommendations.” Biochimie, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20478353.

Gunnars, Kris. “What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids? Explained in Simple Terms.” Healthline, 23 May 2019, www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-omega-3-fatty-acids.

Innes, Jacqueline K, and Philip C Calder. “Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Inflammation.” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29610056.

Jabbour, H N, and K J Sales. “Prostaglandin Receptor Signalling and Function in Human Endometrial Pathology.” Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism: TEM, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15380812.

Kapoor, Rakesh, and Yung-Sheng Huang. “Gamma Linolenic Acid: an Antiinflammatory Omega-6 Fatty Acid.” Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17168669.

Kenny, F S, et al. “Gamma Linolenic Acid with Tamoxifen as Primary Therapy in Breast Cancer.” International Journal of Cancer, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Mar. 2000, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10699943.

Khanapure, Subhash P, et al. “Eicosanoids in Inflammation: Biosynthesis, Pharmacology, and Therapeutic Frontiers.” Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17305573.

Kim, Kyu-Bong, et al. “α-Linolenic Acid: Nutraceutical, Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation.” Food and Chemical Toxicology : an International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24859185.

M.Shewchuk, Brian. “Prostaglandins and n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Regulation of the Hypothalamic–Pituitary Axis.” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, Churchill Livingstone, 28 Sept. 2014, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0952327814001495.

Parker, Helen M, et al. “Omega-3 Supplementation and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Journal of Hepatology, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK), Apr. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22023985.

Petersen, Martin, et al. “Effect of Fish Oil versus Corn Oil Supplementation on LDL and HDL Subclasses in Type 2 Diabetic Patients.” Diabetes Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12351465.

Ph.D., Catharine Paddock. “Could Omega-6 Fatty Acids Help Us Live Longer?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 20 Mar. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321266.php.

Robertson, Ruairi. “Omega-3-6-9 Fatty Acids: A Complete Overview.” Healthline, 15 Jan. 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-6-9-overview.

Simopoulos, Artemis P. “The Importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases.” Experimental Biology and Medicine (Maywood, N.J.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408140.

Wang, Xiaoping, et al. “Multiple Roles of Dihomo-γ-Linolenic Acid against Proliferation Diseases.” Lipids in Health and Disease, BioMed Central, 14 Feb. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3295719/.

Weylandt, Karsten H, et al. “Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: The Way Forward in Times of Mixed Evidence.” BioMed Research International, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4537707/.

Zurier, R B, et al. “Gamma-Linolenic Acid Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Arthritis and Rheumatism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 1996, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8912502.

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 Read More…

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG* 

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico