By: Nikki Nies
Omega 6 fatty acids(FA), also known as linoleum acid, are the second type of essential FA within the omega family. They’re only available via one’s diet Omega 6’s play a vital role in optimal brain function, reproductive health, regulation of metabolism, bone health and hair growth. Also, it may ease resistance to insulin for diabetics.
At room temperature, omega 6 FA are a colorless liquid. Linoleic acid is used in the biosynthesis of arachidonic acid (AA) and some prostaglandins.
Food sources of omega 6’s:vegetable oil; sunflower oil, rice bran oil; cottonseed oil; corn oil; canola oil; flaxseed oil; avocado oil; coconut oil; walnuts; safflower seeds; pumpkin seeds; sunflower seeds; brazil nuts; peanut butter; meat; eggs; dairy products, etc.
However, it’s been found that an excessive amount of omega 6, in relation to omega 3, can lead to the pathogenesis of many diseases–CVD, cancer, autoimmune and/or inflammatory diseases. The optimal omega 3/omega 6 ratio is 15/1-16.7/1, but may vary depending on disease state (i.e. for CVD a ratio of 4/1 omega 3/omega 6 is associated with a 70% decrease in mortality; 2-3/1 ratio was found to suppress inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients). The typical Western diet is deficient in omega 3’s, so it’s important to monitor and assess your omega 3/omega 6 intake.