Mucilages (Lazos and Kalathenos 1988). Essential fatty acids (EFAs)

Mucilages are high
molecular weight polysaccharides naturally occurring during the normal growth
of plants. The major sources of mucilage are seeds, but they are also found in
the crust, leaves, flowers, roots, bulbs, tubers and fruits (Zhao et al.,
2008). These compounds are insoluble in alcohol, but soluble in water that
becomes turgid and large after absorption of water. Mucilages are widely used
in industry, pharmacy and medicine.

Oilseeds
are also important sources of oils being of nutritional, industrial and
pharmaceutical importance (Matthaus and Ozcan 2011). Vegetable oils have
an important functional and sensory role in food products, because of their
fatty acids composition and the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). The
essential fatty acids like linoleic and linolenic are responsible for growth
and the health of organisms (Emmanuel and Mudiakeoghene 2008). A very important parameter of the vegetable oils is the
degree of unsaturation of the fatty acids that are present in the chemically
structure of the oil (Lazos and Kalathenos 1988). Essential fatty acids
(EFAs) are fatty acids that are required for normal health and well-being of
the body, but human organism is not capable to
synthesize them and must be obtained through the diet, because does not produce appropriate enzymes. Therefore,
supplementation of them is important. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and
linoleic acid (LA) and their longer chain derivatives are the most important EFAs.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an important derivative of linoleic acid that has
multiple physiological roles. Studies have indicated that GLA promotes healthy
prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) production, which helps support healthy joints, as well
as healthy blood flow and vessel function. Evening primrose (Oenothera
biennis), blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) and borage (Borago
officinalis L.) oils are important sources of gamma-linolenic acid, but borage
oil is the richest source of GLA (Wretensjo
2004).

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