Omega 6 Fatty Acids and Their Health Benefits

What are they? Omega 6 fatty acid is also a polyunsaturated fat, essential for human health because it cannot be made in the body. For this reason, people must obtain omega 6 fatty acids by consuming foods such as meat, poultry, and eggs as well as nut and plant-based oils such as canola and sunflower oils.

What are the types of omega 6 fatty acids?

LA – LA or linolenic acid is an unsaturated omega 6 fatty acid. Chemically, it is an 18-carbon chain. The first double bond is located at the sixth carbon from the omega end of the fatty acid.

AA – AA or Arachidonic acid is a 20-carbon chain. Its first double bond is located at the sixth carbon from the omega end of the fatty acid.

What are the sources of omega 6 fatty acids?

LA – Soybean oil, Corn oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil … Peanut Oil, Cottonseed oil, and Rice Bran Oil

AA – Peanut Oil, Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products

What are the health benefits of omega 6 fatty acids?

Most omega 6 fatty acids are consumed in the diet from vegetable oils such as linoleic acid. Excessive amounts of linolenic acid can contribute to inflammation and result in heart disease, cancer, asthma, arthritis, and depression.4 5 6

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids: Striking the Balance

By finding a balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in the diet, both substances can work together to promote health. An improper balance and excess in omega 6 fatty acids promotes inflammation and can contribute to the development of diseases such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. A healthy diet should consist of roughly two to four times more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 fatty acids.

A typical North American diet may contain 11 to 30 times more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 fatty acids, contributing to the rising rate of inflammatory disorders in the United States.