36 Anti -
Omega - 6's
Omega - 3's
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to disrupt inflammation cell signaling pathways by binding to the GPR120 receptor. This benefit however can be inhibited or even reversed if the ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 is too high as Omega-6 serves as a precursor to inflammatory chemicals (prostaglandin and leukotriene eicosanoids) in the body.
Omega-6 competes with Omega-3 for the same rate limiting factor which is required for the health-benefits of Omega-3, directly reducing the action of Omega-3 in addition to pharmacologically counteracting Omega-3 benefits through its own action as a pro-inflammatory agent.
A high proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 fat in the diet shifts the physiological state in the tissues toward the pathogenesis of many diseases:
Pro - thrombotic, Pro - inflammatory, Pro - constrictive.
Pro - thrombotic, Pro - inflammatory, Pro - constrictive.
The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) is a score (number) that describes the potential of diet to modulate systemic inflammation within the body. Until the creation of the DII by scientists led by Dr. James R. Hébert at the Statewide South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Program in the University of South Carolina, no indicator of diet-related inflammation had ever been devised. The DII has been subjected to construct validation, which tested (and subsequently confirmed) its ability to predict blood levels of inflammatory markers.
Types of Omega - 3
The three types of omega-3 fatty acids involved in human physiology are α-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in plant oils), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (both commonly found in marine oils). Marine algae and phytoplankton are primary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Common sources of plant oils containing the omega-3 ALA fatty acid include walnut, edible seeds, clary sage seed oil, algal oil, flaxseed oil, Sacha Inchi oil, Echium oil, and hemp oil, while sources of animal omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids include fish, fish oils, eggs from chickens fed EPA and DHA, squid oils, and krill oil.
Some research suggests that the anti-inflammatory activity of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may translate into clinical effects. A 2013 systematic review found tentative evidence of benefit. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources lowers markers of inflammation in the blood such as C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and TNF alpha.
For rheumatoid arthritis (RA), one systematic review found consistent, but modest, evidence for the effect of marine n-3 PUFAs on symptoms such as "joint swelling and pain, duration of morning stiffness, global assessments of pain and disease activity" as well as the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has stated that there may be modest benefit from the use of fish oils, but that it may take months for effects to be seen, and cautions for possible gastrointestinal side effects and the possibility of the supplements containing mercury or vitamin A at toxic levels. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has concluded that "no dietary supplement has shown clear benefits for RA", but that there is preliminary evidence that fish oil may be beneficial, and called for further study.
The most widely available dietary source of EPA and DHA is oily fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, menhaden, and sardines. Oils from these fish have a profile of around seven times as much omega-3 as omega-6. Other oily fish, such as tuna, also contain n-3 in somewhat lesser amounts. Consumers of oily fish should be aware of the potential presence of heavy metals and fat-soluble pollutants like PCBs and dioxins, which are known to accumulate up the food chain. After extensive review, researchers from Harvard's School of Public Health in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2006) reported that the benefits of fish intake generally far outweigh the potential risks. Although fish are a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, fish do not synthesize them; they obtain them from the algae (microalgae in particular) or plankton in their diets.
Heavy metal poisoning by the body's accumulation of traces of heavy metals, in particular mercury, lead, nickel, arsenic, and cadmium, is a possible risk from consuming fish oil supplements. Also, other contaminants (PCBs, furans, dioxins, and PBDEs) might be found, especially in less-refined fish oil supplements. However, heavy metal toxicity from consuming fish oil supplements is highly unlikely, because heavy metals selectively bind with protein in the fish flesh rather than accumulate in the oil. An independent test in 2005 of 44 fish oils on the US market found all of the products passed safety standards for potential contaminants.
Flax seed (or linseed) (Linum usitatissimum) and its oil are perhaps the most widely available botanical source of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Flax seed oil consists of approximately 55% ALA, which makes it six times richer than most fish oils in omega-3 fatty acids. A portion of this is converted by the body to EPA and DHA, though the actual converted percentage may differ between men and women.
In 2013 Rothamsted Research in the UK reported they had developed a genetically modified form of the plant Camelina that produced EPA and DHA. Oil from the seeds of this plant contained on average 11% EPA and 8% DHA in one development and 24% EPA in another.
A recent trend has been to fortify food with omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Global food companies have launched omega-3 fatty acid fortified bread, mayonnaise, pizza, yogurt, orange juice, children's pasta, milk, eggs, popcorn, confections, and infant formula.
The microalgae Crypthecodinium cohnii and Schizochytrium are rich sources of DHA but not EPA, and can be produced commercially in bioreactors. Oil from brown algae (kelp) is a source of EPA. The alga Nannochloropsis also has high levels of EPA.
In 2006 the Journal of Dairy Science published a study which found that butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows contains substantially more α-linolenic acid than butter made from the milk of cows that have limited access to pasture.
Omega - 6 to Omega - 3 Ratio
Essential fatty acid interactions Human diet has changed rapidly in recent centuries resulting in a reported increased diet of omega-6 in comparison to omega-3. The rapid evolution of human diet away from a 1:1 omega-3 and omega-6 ratio, such as during the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution, has presumably been too fast for humans to have adapted to biological profiles adept at balancing omega-3 and omega-6 ratios of 1:1. This is commonly believed to be the reason why modern diets are correlated with many inflammatory disorders. While omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be beneficial in preventing heart disease in humans, the level of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (and, therefore, the ratio) does not matter.
Both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are essential: humans must consume them in their diet. Omega-6 and omega-3 eighteen-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids compete for the same metabolic enzymes, thus the omega-6:omega-3 ratio of ingested fatty acids has significant influence on the ratio and rate of production of eicosanoids, a group of hormones intimately involved in the body's inflammatory and homeostatic processes, which include the prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes, among others. Altering this ratio can change the body's metabolic and inflammatory state. In general, grass-fed animals accumulate more omega-3 than do grain-fed animals, which accumulate relatively more omega-6. Metabolites of omega-6 are more inflammatory (esp. arachidonic acid) than those of omega-3. This necessitates that omega-6 and omega-3 be consumed in a balanced proportion; healthy ratios of omega-6:omega-3, according to some authors, range from 1:1 to 1:4. Other authors believe that a ratio of 4:1 (4 times as much omega-6 as omega-3) is already healthy. Studies suggest the evolutionary human diet, rich in game animals, seafood, and other sources of omega-3, may have provided such a ratio.
Typical Western diets provide ratios of between 10:1 and 30:1 (i.e., dramatically higher levels of omega-6 than omega-3). The ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in some common vegetable oils are: canola 2:1, hemp 2-3:1, soybean 7:1, olive 3 –13:1, sunflower (no omega-3), flax 1:3, cottonseed (almost no omega-3), peanut (no omega-3), grapeseed oil (almost no omega-3) and corn oil 46:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3.
In 1964 it was discovered that enzymes found in sheep tissues convert omega-6 arachidonic acid into the inflammatory agent called prostaglandin E2 which both causes the sensation of pain and expedites healing and immune response in traumatized and infected tissues. By 1979 more of what are now known as eicosanoids were discovered: thromboxanes, prostacyclins, and the leukotrienes. The eicosanoids, which have important biological functions, typically have a short active lifetime in the body, starting with synthesis from fatty acids and ending with metabolism by enzymes. If the rate of synthesis exceeds the rate of metabolism, the excess eicosanoids may, however, have deleterious effects. Researchers found that certain omega-3 fatty acids are also converted into eicosanoids, but at a much slower rate. Eicosanoids made from omega-3 fatty acids are often referred to as anti-inflammatory, but in fact they are just less inflammatory than those made from omega-6 fats. If both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are present, they will "compete" to be transformed, so the ratio of long-chain omega - 3 : omega - 6 fatty acids directly affects the type of eicosanoids that are produced.
Page was lest checked and updated on June 12, 2018