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Useful properties and harms of omega-6

One of the classes of polyunsaturated fatty acids – omega-6. They are of particular importance to the organism due to its biological properties. This class provides more than 10 different acids. However, among these, the most important are considered to be linoleic and arachidonic. They are most effective in combination with omega-3 acids. Both classes are largely similar in structure, although they have significant differences. First and foremost, this is reflected in the structure of the molecules, and in biological properties.

Omega-6 and omega-3, enter the body with food. Their synthesis impossible, so the lack of fatty acids increasing the likelihood of developing various diseases, the deterioration of the General state of health. Omega-6 essential to man for several reasons. First of all, they maintained normal levels of cholesterol in the blood, which prevents atherosclerosis. Fatty acids of this class improve the appearance of skin and hair. Because omega-6 are involved in tissue regeneration. In addition, they have a positive impact on the functioning of many internal organs. Women acid ease PMS and the menstruation. Often these processes are accompanied by worsening of mood, depression, abdominal pain. Omega-6 help to avoid such unpleasant phenomena.

Affecting the skin, polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce inflammation in eczema. Irritation heal faster, be less noticeable symptoms of the disease. The presence of omega-6 in sufficient quantity is particularly important for people suffering from arthritis and obesity. These substances help to get rid of excess weight. They also reduce cravings for alcoholic beverages.

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Great harm of omega 6

A tiny Hummingbird flying at a speed of over 80 km/h, and to gather nectar, she has to hover over a flower, making up to 100 of flapping wings per second. What sets this wonderful creation, for example, from the bear, fallen into winter hibernation? Not only the size and level of physical activity. Both animals to sustain the necessary supply of fat in the body. It is noteworthy that in the body of the hummingbirds we will find omega-3 fatty acids, and the bear – omega-6. Boththe substance belongs to the class of polyunsaturated fatty acids, but their properties are very different. And that the same person? What are fatty acids and what role do they play in the body? Let's deal.

Omega-3 and omega-6: what is the difference?

Scientists found that the body is not very large animals and birds, leading "smart" way of life, dominated by omega-3 fatty acids. But bears, seals, walruses and elephants prefer to accumulate under the skin, deposits of omega-6. Why is this happening, and what is the fundamental difference between these two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids?

Molecules of omega-3 is very plastic and flexible. They are the ideal food for the quick organs: brain and heart, first and foremost. Fatty acids omega-3 makes the blood more fluid, forcing the heart to beat fast and rhythmically, the brain – to work well, eyes to see acutely and to get used to the dark. Of course, the very need of such acids. They accelerate the metabolism and make our body's organs to work together.

Molecules of omega-6 perform the opposite function: they make the blood thicker, slowing down the metabolic processes, as in the case of an excess of provoke the development of inflammation and tumors. The bear in hibernation fatty acids omega-6 can do a good job, but the person in everyday life, they are useless. It is proved that in people with excessive in omega-6 are more likely to have heart disease and blood vessels, cancer, arthritis, asthma and migraines. Women with high levels of omega-6 complain of menstrual cramps, polyps and endometriosis.

What science says?

In 2006 he published a treatise under the title of "Queen of fats", written by Dr. Susan Alpert. She devoted many years to the study of the role of omega-6 fatty acids in the development of dangerous diseases in humans. Every year before the world community the issue of early death from cancer. Dr. Alpert was able to prove a direct link between the level of omega-6 in the body and increased risk of developing tumors. "Bad" fatty acid leads to cancer of the breast, prostate and intestines, and is only part of the documented cases.

High levels of omega-6 is directly associated with obesity and great excess weight with age inevitably leads to diabetes mellitus. It was also found that omega-6 is detrimental to the nervous system: they lead to postpartum depression and bipolar disorders. Obviousconclusion: it is necessary to minimize the content in the body omega-6 fatty acids. But how to do it, and why in our time this question is so alarmingly relevant?

Where does the threat fatty acid omega-6?

In the last twenty to thirty years there have been global changes in the world food industry. This extremely profitable business run by the companies-monopolists. They establish standards for growing cattle, and these rules are very simple: you need to feed the cattle with cheap feeds, to reap maximum benefits. To drive the herds on natural pastures that the animals were cropping the fresh green grass, extremely profitable. It is much wiser to feed the cattle corn and other cheap grains. Grown on this diet the animals become a source of dangerous omega-6 fatty acids that accumulates in their body for life.

The same can be said about the fish. When the fish are caught from the natural environment – ocean, sea, rivers – its only meat contained beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. And when the fish are artificially bred in special ponds and are fed grain, gives a dangerous product with a high content of omega-6. That's not to mention the problem of antibiotics, which are present in meat and fish, milk, and eggs production.

What are we to do? Those who are watching their health, it is possible to advise farmers to choose meat and dairy products on the shelves. Unfortunately, it is much more expensive factory. There are more radical ways to solve the problem. If you have a large excess weight, sick heart, a high level of cholesterol and omega-6 fatty acids, it makes sense to switch to a vegetarian diet.

Dangerous the overabundance of omega-6?

If there is a shortage of polyunsaturated fatty acids, it can have various negative effects on the human body. But not harmful their excess?

So, in 2009, was released book R. brown, "omega-6 – fat is the Devil?". The author raises the problem of the negative impact on the body of these substances. According to brown, these acids lead to serious illness: stroke, cancer, heart attack. However, it is noted that you should eat more foods high in omega-3.

Indeed, fatty acids are not only good. Their excess can be harmful to human health and result in the following consequences:

  • increaseviscosity and blood clotting;
  • As a result, the risk of thrombosis. In humans, the body which amounts of omega-6 exceeds the norm, the higher the risk of heart attack and stroke.

  • the deterioration of the immune system;
  • In this state the body more susceptible to various diseases. They often become chronic.

  • the occurrence of malignant tumors.

The development of cancer is one of the most serious consequences that can result from excess omega-6. Still completely unclear what causes the tumor, but the excess needed by the body amount of fatty acids could contribute to their appearance.

The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in products

The greatest benefit of omega-6 bring in combination with omega-3. In Sweden, the recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (5:1) and in Japan (4:1). You need to restore the balance, to avoid the negative consequences of excess or deficiency of these substances in the body. When omega-3 acids becomes too low, the body switches over completely to omega-6, with the result that you may feel drowsiness, lethargy.

There are several points of view on what should be the number of these elements. Most scientists believe that the ideal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 of 2:1 or 4:1, respectively (for reference, the Eskimos consume omega-3 ratio of 1 to 1, and have the lowest rate of mortality from cardiovascular disease on the planet). This can be achieved by changing your diet. This should take into account the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in various products.


The content of omega-3, mg

The content of omega-6 mg

Flaxseed oil (1 tbsp)



Sunflower oil (1 tbsp)



Sesame oil (1 tbsp)



Corn oil (1 tbsp)



Canola oil (1 tbsp)



Oliveoil (1 tbsp)



Chia seeds (30 g)



Seeds of flax (30 g)



Sunflower seeds (1 Cup)



Sesame seeds (1 Cup)



Pumpkin seeds (1 Cup)



Walnuts (1 Cup)



Nuts almonds (1 Cup)



Nuts pecans (1 Cup)



Wheat (1 Cup)



Rye (1 Cup)



Oats (1 Cup)



Lentils (1 Cup)



Beans, raw (1 Cup)



Chickpeas, raw (1 Cup)



Green peas, raw (1 Cup)



Beans, raw (1 Cup)



Lettuce, fresh (1 bunch 360 g)



Spinach, fresh (1 bunch, 340 g)



Dandelion greens, fresh (100 g)



Arugula, fresh (100 g)



Apple, raw (1 piece)



Banana, raw (1 piece)



Strawberries, fresh (100 g)



Carrot, raw (100 g)



What foods contain omega 6?