Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy



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The Omega Classification

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  • The Omega Classification 

  • Many fatty acids are now being given an Omega classification, eg Omega-3 or Omega-6. All this does is to provide a means of identifying the whereabouts of one of the double bonds in an unsaturated fatty acid. The position of the double bond  is indicated relative to the carbon atom that is farthest away from the C))H (acid) group. This carbon is said to be in the Omega position.
  • Palmitoleic Acid 
  • Fatty Acids 
  • In the above sample, as the COOH group is on the right, the carbon atoms have been numbered  from the extreme left, counting that carbon atom as number1.
  • So, Omega 7 means the double bond lies between the 7th and 8th carbon atom counting from the left. This shorthand method does not tell you how many bonds there are in an unsaturated fatty acid, merely where, from the left, the first one lies: there may be more, but this system does not reveal that. 



The List of Saturated and Unsaturated Fatty Acids Can Now Be Shown As:

Former Name Modern Name Symbol
lauric  dodecanoic  C12:0 
myristic  tetradecanoic  C14:0 
palmitic  hexadecanoic  C16:0 
stearic  octadecanoic  C18:0 
arachidonic  eicosanoic  C20:0 
behenic  docsanoic  C22:0 
lignoceric  tetracosanoic  C24:0 
oleic octadecanoic C18:1 omega-9
gadolei 11-eicosanoic C20:1 omega-9
erucic**  13-docosenoic  C22:1 omega-9 
cetoleic  11-docosenoic  C22:1 omega-11 
linoleic*  9,12,15-octadecadienoic  C18:2 omega-6 
alpha-linolenic  9,12,15-octadecatrienoic  C18:3 omega-3
gamma-linolenic  6,9,12-octadecatrienoic  C18:3 omega-6 
dihomo-gamma-linolenic  8,11,14-eicosatrienoic  C20:3 omega-6 
arachidonic  5,8,11,14-eicosatetraenoic  C20:4 omega-6
timnodonic 5,8,11,14,17-eicosapentaenoic C20:5 omega-3
clupanodonic 4,7,10,13,16,19-docosahexaenoic C22:6 omega-3
  • **erucic acid is considered to be carcinogenic
  • *linolenic acid exists in two isometric forms, alpha (a) and gamma (Y)
  • Reference: Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy And Massage: Len Price with Ian Smith and Shirley Price. 

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