What Are Omega 6 Fatty Acids And What Is Their Importance?

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You must have heard the term Omega 6 Fatty Acids many times. But do you know what this term means? Are you concerned about the amount of omega 6 fatty acids you are consuming? The human body does not create its own omega 6 fatty acid. But it is a very important nutrient that plays a vital role in promoting brain health. It also helps in reproductive growth and in easing ADHD symptoms. The typical American and European diet consist of too much omega 6 fatty acids compared to omega 3 fatty acids. The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, has a much more balanced amount of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. I am sure that a number of questions are swirling around your brain about this vital nutrient. Well, the answers are right here!

What are Omega 6 Fatty Acids?

Omega 6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. These help in boosting skin growth, rejuvenates hair, maintains a healthy rate of metabolism and boosts bone growth. So, how much omega 6 fatty acids do you need? A healthy dose of omega 6 fatty acids is equal to the amount of omega 3 fatty acid you need in your diet. In case you ingest more omega 6 fatty acids, the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome may be triggered. Mainly two kinds of Omega 6 fatty acids are available to the human body- these are Linoleic acid (LA) and Arachidonic acid (AA). Having too much of animal fats leads to an overdose of LA, whereas eating too much of soybean oil and corn oil leads to AA overdose.

Importance of Omega 6 Fatty Acid:

Omega 6 fatty acids, despite being harmful in excessive amount, when taken in equal ratio as omega 3 fatty acids, have a number of benefits. In case of the following diseases and disorders, intake of omega 6 fatty acids foods is very important:

  • Diabetic Neuropathy: People suffering from diabetic neuropathy show a lot of improvement, when they take regular supplements of gamma linoleic acid (GLA) for 6 months.
  • Allergies: The omega 6 fatty acids that are available from food or supplements can help treat or prevent allergies. In fact, women who are prone to allergies show lack of GLA, an important conversion intermediate of Linoleic acid.
  • Breast Cancer: Studies have shown that women with breast cancer respond better to GLA than tamoxifen, an established breast cancer treatment drug. GLA also inhibits tumor activity on the incidence of breast cancer.
  • Eczema: The omega 6 fatty acids present in primrose oil have been shown to have a positive effect on patients of eczema.
  • High Blood Pressure: Some studies have shown that GLA reduces blood pressure in combination with omega 3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, both of which are found in fish oils. However, these benefits are not scientifically proven. Be sure to take the advice of your physician before taking omega 6 fatty acids supplements for these problems.

Foods Rich in Omega 6 Fatty Acids:

Vegetable oils contain a lot of omega 6 fatty acids. Sunflower oil contains as much as 10 grams of omega 6 fatty acid per tablespoon, while corn oil has 8.8 grams of it per tablespoon. Palm oil, flaxseed oil, and olive oil have lower amounts of omega 6 fatty acids. Walnuts, pumpkin and squash seeds, safflower seeds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, peanuts and fishes all contain omega 6 fatty acids.
Omega 6 fatty acids are important for the body, but too much of it is not good. In fact, too much omega 6 fatty can cause inflammation. Americans face a lot of health problems due to their high omega 6 fatty acid intake. But in the right doses, this nutrient can benefit your health immensely.

So what are you waiting for? Make Omega 6 fatty acids a part of your diet, and get-set-go towards a healthier you! Hope you found this article helpful! Do share your views with us in the comments section below!

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