Updated: Feb 27
When we reach for Omega supplements we tend to opt for Omega 3-6-9 which contains all three types of Omega but are they doing us any good? Far from it!
Our body makes it's own omega-9 so it isn't really necessary to supplement this but it cannot make omega-3 and 6. It is very easy to get omega-6 from our diet….far too easy it seems. It is present in our modern day diet in ample amounts - fast food, cured meats, bread, eggs to name but a few.
In reality most people should be decreasing our omega-6 intake and increasing our omega-3 to get the safe ratio...but why?
In times gone by when we lived off the land our omega 6 and 3 ratio was 1:1. Over the course of human evolution and because of the modern day diet there has been a dramatic change in the ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fats consumed in the diet. Nowadays, the average diet is a ratio of anywhere roughly between 10:1 and 25:1 This is an extremely unbalanced ratio causing an alarmingly high amount of health problems because the safe ratio is a maximum of 4:1.
This change, perhaps more than any other dietary factor, has contributed to the epidemic of modern disease. Of course we need Omega-6 but too much is health damaging .. and most of us are getting far too much.
A diet with a lot of omega-6 and not much omega-3 will increase inflammation within the body which cancer cells love. A diet with a lot of omega-3 and not much omega-6 will reduce inflammation.
The billion dollar Big Pharma industry is well aware of the effect of omega-6 on inflammation. Ibuprofen, aspirin etc. work by reducing the formation of inflammatory compounds derived from omega-6 fatty acids. The same effect could be achieved by simply limiting dietary intake of omega-6. The drug companies of course don’t want you to know that, that would mean less profit for them.
So what are the consequences to human health of too much omega-6? The list includes (but isn’t limited to):
type 2 diabetes
irritable bowel syndrome & inflammatory bowel disease
We need to balance out that ratioIn studies the relationship between intake omega-6 fats and cardiovascular mortality is particularly striking. On the other hand, several clinical studies have shown that decreasing the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio protects against chronic, degenerative diseases. One study showed that replacing corn oil with olive oil and canola oil led to a 70% decrease in total mortality. That is no small difference.
Another efficient way to lower the ratio of too much omega-6 in ratio to omega-3 is to take omega-3 supplements and eat more omega-3 rich food. In fact I personally believe everyone should take an Omega-3 supplement as the average modern day diet just isn't giving us enough. Beware though, the Omega-3 supplements you can buy off the shelf are not all equal and there are a lot of inferior products out their in leading chainstores!
Without a doubt, fish oil supplements can play an important role in increasing intake of omega-3 fats. As tempting as it may be to take large doses of fish oil supplements to balance the dietary omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, it’s best to stick to the recommended dosages to provide the right amount of omega-3 fats and then correct the omega ratio by directly addressing omega-6 fat consumption—preferably through whole foods.
*Patients suffering from a clotting disorder or those taking antihypertensive, anticoagulant, or antiplatelet agents should consult their physician before taking fish oil supplements.
Inflammation and Arthritis
Poor Immune System
Eyesight Problems / Macular Degeneration
Foods Rich Omega 3 Are
Seafood - Mackerel, Salmon, Herring, Cod Liver Oil, Sea Bass, Oysters, Sardines, Trout, Shrimp
Vegetarian - Seaweed and Algae (Seaweed, Spirulina, Chlorella, Nori), Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds and Oil, Flax Seeds and Oil, Edamame Beans, Walnuts, Kidney Beans.
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