Omega-6 Fatty Acid

What are Omega-6 Fatty Acids?
Omega-6 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids that are considered to be crucial for human survival through its support of brain function, normal growth in children, maintaining bone health, and regulating metabolism. As an essential fatty acid, however, it is a substance that cannot be manufactured by the human body. It must therefore be consumed in the diet, in the form of linoleic acid found in vegetable oils and meats as well as GLA fatty acids found in evening primrose oil and borage oil. While it is typical for people to be deficient in their intake of omega-3 fatty acids, most people in America consume too great an amount of omega-6 fatty acids.

What are the health benefits of Omega-6 Fatty Acids?
Certain omega-6 fatty acids may be used to treat osteoporosis, diabetes, menopausal symptoms and menstrual conditions, ADHD, inflammatory conditions of the skin such as psoriasis and eczema, anorexia nervosa, and arthritis, and allergies. Excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids in one’s diet may lead to arthritis, depression, heart disease, asthma, and cancer.

What is the relationship between Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Omega-6 fatty acids, a nutritional counterpart of omega-3 fatty acids, are also crucial for human survival. Excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids in relation to omega-3 fatty acids, however, may instigate inflammatory symptoms in the body. The average American consumes as much as thirty times the amount of omega-6 fatty acids as it does omega-3 fatty acids, though it is generally recommended to only consume approximately four times the amount of omega-6 over omega-3. When a person consumes a more appropriate ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, they are better equipped to enjoy the benefits of both nutrients—of which there are many.

What foods are good sources of Omega-6 Fatty Acids?
Omega-6 fatty acids are more available in the typical American diet than omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 6’s are found abundantly in common oils such as canola, soybean, olive, and corn, as well as peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Are there other ways to take Omega-6 Fatty Acids?
Omega-6 fatty acids are available in the form of supplemental oils that contain both linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid. They can be found online, in health food stores, and in the offices of alternative medical practitioners.

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This entry was posted in Natural Health Dictionary, Supplements, Vitamins and Nutrients.