- Anthropological research suggests that our ancestors thrived on a diet with an Omega 6 fatty acid : Omega 3 fatty acid ratio of approximately 1:1.
- Today, our Western diet, has skewed that ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFA) to between 15:1 and 16.7:1.
And that’s not good.
Current research tells us that Omega 6 fatty acids are the cause of many of our Western diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The researchers believe this for a few reasons.
- Because of how Omega 6 fatty acids are broken down by your body, they are more likely than the Omega 3s to produce pro-inflammatory ‘eicosanoids’. In fact, many of the drugs used to treat and manage these conditions work by blocking the effects of the potent Omega 6 fat, Arachidonic Acid….and that’s bad.
- The eicosanoids made from Omega 3 fatty acids are mainly anti-inflammatory….and that’s good.
- Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids have to compete with each other in order for them to be transformed from fatty acids into eicosanoids. So, when the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 was 1:1, it was a fair fight. Now that it is 15 or 16:1, the Omega 6s win the fight and the result is increased inflammation and disease….and that’s very, very bad.
So What Do You Do?
- Increase your consumption of Omega 3 foods and supplements
- Reduce your consumption of Omega 6 foods and supplements.
It would also not be a bad idea to discuss this plan with your doctor. Especially if you are taking drugs for any condition that may be affected by Omega 3s and Omega 6s.
Omega-3 Foods & Supplements
Omega-6 Foods & Supplements
It’s not hard to find foods high in Omega 6 in our Western diet. Here are some of the worst offenders.
- Cooking Oils – sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean
- Egg yolks
- Grain fed meats, particularly organ meats
- Farm raised fish
- All manner of processed foods
- Even more food high in Omega 6 fatty acids
Keep in mind, Omega 6 is not all bad. The problem is that due to the type of foods we eat, we have thrown the balance between Omega 6 and Omega 3 completely out of whack.
What Happens If I Take My Fish Oils?
- You may reduce your risk of the eye disease – age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- You may reduce your risk of asthma and allergies.
- You may reduce your risk of clogged arteries, even if you have other risk factors for heart disease.
- You may prevent diabetic complications such as: myocardial infarction and stroke due to atherosclerosis, retinopathy, end-stage renal disease, debilitating neuropathies, poor wound healing, enhanced risk of infection, and periodontal disease.
- You may reduce your risk of memory loss and stroke in your old age.
- You may improve your cognition and memory while helping to fight against such mental disorders as depression and mood disorders, schizophrenia, and dementia.
What Happens If I Don’t
The opposite of above.