Essential fatty acids are the polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, which are the parent compounds of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid series, respectively. They are essential in the human diet since they cannot be synthesized by the body. Humans can easily make saturated fatty acids or monounsaturated fatty acids with a double bond at the omega-9 position, but do not have the enzymes necessary to introduce a double bond at the omega-3 or omega-6 position.
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