Omega-6: healthy or not?

You read lately increasingly we are far too many omega-6 ingestion and this can cause dangerous inflammation in the body. Is that true, and how it affected our health?

Time to dive deeply into the matter and to clarify.

What Is Omega 6?

Omega-6 is an umbrella term for a number of fatty acids contained in our diet.

You can find omega-6 fatty acids in many vegetable oils (such as sunflower oil, soybean oil, peanut oil and corn oil) in cooking fats, margarine and spreads. These fatty acids are found even in eggs, poultry, (organ) meat and fish.

Like omega-3 has omega-6 a number of features that are very good for our health. The list of health benefits is not as long as that of omega-3. But omega-6 is absolutely important and beneficial for our body.

The most important omega-6 fatty acid in hot linoleic acid (LA). When we ingest this fatty acid in our diet, our body can convert into gamma linoleic acid (GLA). The GLA fatty acid then has a very good effect on our health.

Thus, omega-6 include important for all brain functions, they support growth and development in children and young adults and omega-6 stimulates the health of skin, hair, bones and a properly functioning immune system.

The health benefits of omega-6

The following health benefits of omega-6 I’m going to describe something more elaborate to you because they are very important for our body.

Lowers risk of heart disease
Everyone will sooner or later face arteriosclerosis. This is a process where the arteries slowly narrow. This is because dirt sticks to the arteries and over time can hardly no more blood through.

Arteriosclerosis is a natural process, but it is greatly accelerated by unhealthy eating and smoking.

Omega-6 is almost the same way against arteriosclerosis as omega-3. Namely, by increasing the good HDL-cholesterol in the blood [1]. This dirt is better transported to the liver.

Omega-6 is effective against diabetes
Insulin is a very important substance in our body. It causes our blood sugar in balance. When diabetes is not the body does not make insulin anymore or respond to.

GLA helps to ensure that our bodies remain properly respond to insulin. [2] This reduces the chances of this disease.

The effect is reinforced by the way if we get enough DHA and EPA. And those are the two most important fatty acids in omega-3 [3].

Combats eczema and other allergic reactions
Eczema is a skin condition that makes the upper layers of skin dryness and flaking. This results in redness, itching, and pain. Research has shown that administering a GLA supplement prevents eczema. [4]

GLA in omega-6 reduces asthma
has been found from various studies that GLA, can reduce along with EPA from omega-3, asthmatic complaints in people with mild to moderate shape. An additional advantage is that patients are less dependent on asthma medication [5].

Effective against rheumatoid arthritis
GLA in omega-6 appears to be a promising alternative for pharmaceutical use in the treatment of arthritis. Studies have shown that patients treated with a large dose of GLA less painful and swollen joints have [6].

Reduces the risk of chronic diseases,
diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and diseases as a result of cardio-vascular problems are chronic. Different types of cancer are also included in the chronic diseases.

As early as 1989, scientific evidence that GLA inhibits the development of particular types of cancers. [7] And a mix of EPA and DHA omega-3 is found to be effective against cancer [8].

GLA has also had very good results in the treatment of breast cancer [9] and certain types of leukemia [10].

GLA Omega-6 can inhibit inflammation
after I have studied a number of studies on GLA, I’m coming back a thing. Namely, that GLA has anti-inflammatory properties [11]. And all conditions above (and many others) have to a greater or lesser extent with chronic inflammation.

These anti-inflammatory properties is I think the most important and can prevent many diseases.

An overdose of omega-6

We now know that you need omega-6 fatty acids for good health. But there is a snag.

Omega-6 is only healthy if you ingest as much as omega-3. Without a balance provides omega-6 to many infections and other problems. See the next heading for more information.

In our Western diet, we get more omega-6 than omega-3. There are two reasons.

1) The livestock has become an industry in which many animals are inside and especially grains, soybeans and corn are fed. That is, instead of grass, the animals would eat in their natural habitat.

For the industry is much more efficient, but the cattle will get lots of omega-6. And so we get when we eat meat, too much omega-6.

2) Many foods made with vegetable oils and are packed with omega-6. We also use a lot of vegetable oils during cooking. Everyone has a bottle of sunflower oil in the kitchen, right?

It is often argued that the use of vegetable oils are healthy because they decrease the bad LDL cholesterol. That in itself is fine. But because we receive so much of this oil, which also has an adverse effect on the amount of omega-6 that we receive.

In short, we are in the last decades, quite different food and therefore the amount of omega-6 in the body increased over the past 50 years by as much as 200% [12]!

Why is too much omega-6 unhealthy?

You wonder now probably wondering why too much omega-6 is unhealthy. Enters the body too much omega-6 is not just finish?

No Unfortunately not. The excess of omega-6 LA, which is not converted to GLA, put our body to arachidonic acid. And this fatty acid stimulates the formation of inflammation [13]. An overdose of omega-6 thus acts against himself; from anti-inflammatory to proinflammatory.

A second problem is that our bodies can only take full advantage of the health benefits of omega-3 and omega-6 as both a certain proportion come to us.

I repent maintained several studies and I think the best ratio is 1: 1. [14] So we have about as much omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6. Only then our body can leverage all the health benefits.

Want to know more about the balance between omega-3 and omega-6? Read also this article .

Omega-6 return

Fortunately, it’s easy to restore the balance. I give you two tips to get that simple for another.

Tip 1: Eat fewer foods containing omega-6

By eating fewer foods containing omega-6 you take a very important step in reducing your omega-6 intake. Pay particular attention to (food prepared) vegetable oils.

Therefore remove the following products from your kitchen cabinets.

  • Sunflower oil (unless high oleic)
  • Soya oil
  • corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil

Alternatively you coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil use. Which comprise by far the least amount of omega-6.

Note that even the so-called healthy foods are often loaded with the wrong vegetable oils. It is therefore important to read the labels of the products we eat.

Tip 2: A more foods with omega-3 and take supplements

In vegetable oils are made with sod or nuts, such as walnuts and flaxseed oil, omega-3’s. It also contains small amounts of omega-3 in meat and green leafy vegetables such as lettuce.

But most omega-3 takes your body from fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, cod, herring and mackerel.

Yet it remains very difficult to get enough omega-3 in your diet. Twice a week oily fish is a good start, but for most of us is not enough.

To make sure you get enough omega-3 receives I recommend taking a daily omega-3 capsules.

During my research on omega-3 and omega-6, I discovered that fish oil capsules and vegetarian algae oil capsules . I became excited about these capsules because they have the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label.

This guarantees a 100% sustainable fishing. Moreover, the oil an hour after catch made and which ensures a very high quality.

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