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Omega-6 fatty acids

Omega-6 fatty acids are type of polyunsaturated (PUFAs) essential fatty acids. They are necessary for human health, but the body cannot make them. We have to get them through food.

 

  • Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a role in brain function, and normal growth and development.

 

  • Most omega-6 fatty acids in the diet come from vegetable oils, such as linoleic acid (LA), not to be confused with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid.

 

Linoleic acid is converted to
gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the body.
 GLA can then break down further
to arachidonic acid (AA).
  • GLA is found in several plant-based oils, including evening primrose oil (EPO), borage oil, and black currant seed oil.

 

  • Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, while some omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. However, there are several different types of omega-6 fatty acids, and not all promote inflammation.

 

  • Omega-6s help …
  • stimulate skin and hair growth,
  • maintain bone health,
  • regulate metabolism, and
  • maintain the reproductive system.

 

  • High Omega-6 intake is associated with violence and depression, while omega-3s improve all sorts of mental disorders like depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

 

  • A healthy diet contains a balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. People who eat a non-industrial diet have an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of about 4 to 1.

 

  • The typical American diet tends to contain 14 to 25 times more Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3 fatty acids, much higher than what we are genetically adapted to.

 

  • Soybean oil is currently the biggest source of Omega-6 fatty acids in the USA, because it is cheap and found in all sorts of processed foods. Other sources of Omega-6 fatty acids which we need to avoid are corn oil, canola oil, grape seed oil, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, margarine and shortening. There are several problems with the consumption of these foods:
  • These hydrogenated fats, a.k.a. transfats are produced industrially from GMO crops. There is nothing natural about them. Our body does not recognize them as real food.
  • They are all PUFAs and chemically very unstable, thus prone to oxidation.
  • Their Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio is totally off.
  • These foods also effect our hormone balance adversely, causing ovarian cancer and other deadly health complications.

 

More in depth reading is available on the following links…

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/61-health-benefits-omega-3-fatty-acids

 

 

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