Omega 6 vs Omega 3

Both Omega 6 and Omega 3 belong to the group of PUFA (Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids). These fatty acids are necessary for good health of a human being. But Omega 6 and Omega 3 have some different properties. We will discuss these facts here help you understand some basic differences between these two fatty acids.

According to some researches the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in the diet of our non-vegetarian predecessors was 1:1. It means similar quantity of both Omega 6 and 3. But as we move from non-veg to veg diet and soon started to use vegetable oils, this ratio changed dramatically. Now a days 4:1 ratio of Omega6 : Omega 3 is considered best. But its far away from actual measurements.

Ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in American diet changed dramatically during past century. In 1930s this ratio was 8.4:1, while in 1985 it was reported to be 10.3:1 . Today this ratio ranges from 10:1 to 20:1 , which is very dangerous for human body.

Here we are not demonstrating in depth chemical reactions done by Omega 6 and Omega 3 in our body. The basic thing is that Excess of Omega 6 increases inflammation. Omega 3 is neutral. If you eat omega 3 then lesser amount of Omega 6 will be available to tissues. Diet with more Omega 3 and less omega 6 will reduce inflammation. So if you want to reduce any type of inflammation in your body then just reduce Omega 6 and increase Omega 3 in your diet.

Know more about Omega 3: Read More

If you want to know which inflammatory diseases you can get due to higher amount of Omega 6, then these diseases are Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, Auto Immune Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer, Asthma, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Psychiatric Disorders.

Most of the US population is at high risk of Heart Diseases due to high Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio. According to a research if this ratio is reduced to 4:1 then mortality can be reduced by 70%. Its clear by these researches that Omega 6 has played a major role in evolution of modern world killing diseases like diabetes and heart diseases.

Amount of Omega 6 and Omega 3 found in various vegetable oils is shown in the table below.

Role of Omega 6 in Increasing Heart Diseases

A few studies have shown that in last 150 years heart diseases have increased at a high rate. Similarly ratio of Omega 6 compared to Omega 3 has also increased. Studies have found a direct relation between Omega 6 and heart diseases. That’s why Omega 3 is suggested to heart patients to reduce the effect of Omega 6 on their body.
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