Deficiency and excess of fat in the diet
Deficiency of fat in the diet causes the deficiency of essential fatty acids. Deficiency of essential fatty acids leads to cessation of growth. It also results in flaky skin, development of itchy sores on the scalp. The common disorder in adults and children in India is phrynoderma or toad skin. The condition is characterized by the presence of horny eruptions on the posterior and lateral aspects of the limbs on the back and buttocks.
Phrynoderma is cured rapidly by the administration of linseed or saffiower seed oil rich in EFA. Infants fed on an EFA deficient diet develop irritation and changes in the skin within a few weeks. The skin changes appear as dryness and desquamation with oozing in the folds. Diarrhoea may also occur, supplementation of the diet with linoleic acid helps to restore the skin to normal condition.
a. Leads to Obesity because more than required calories are consumed. In addition, the excess carbohydrates are also converted to fat for storage in the body resulting in obesity.
b. Slows down the digestion and absorption of foods.
c. Interferes with the absorption of calcium by combining with calcium to form an insoluble calcium soap.
d. Cause ketosis unless adequate carbohydrate is present to complete the oxidation of fat.