Anthropological research suggests that our ancestors thrived on a diet with an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of approximately 1:1.

Today, our Western diet, has skewed that ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) to between 15:1 and 16.7:1.

So what does that mean?

The Science

Current research tells us that Omega-6 fatty acids are the cause of many of our Western diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The researchers believe this for a few reasons.

1.    Because of how Omega-6 fatty acids are broken down by your body, they are more likely than the Omega-3s to produce pro-inflammatory ‘eicosanoids‘. In fact, many of the drugs used to treat and manage these conditions work by blocking the effects of the potent Omega−6 fat, Arachidonic Acid,

That’s Bad.

2.    The eicosanoids made from Omega-3 fatty acids are mainly anti-inflammatory.

That’s Good

3.    Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids have to compete with each other in order for them to be transformed from fatty acids into eicosanoids. So, when the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 was 1:1, it was a fair fight. Now that it is 15 or 16:1, the Omega-6s win the fight and the result is increased inflammation and disease.

That’s Very Bad.

So What Do I Do?

Increase your consumption of Omega-3 foods and supplements and reduce your consumption of Omega-6 foods and supplements.

It would also not be a bad idea to discuss this plan with your doctor. Especially if you are taking drugs for any condition that may be affected by Omega-3s and Omega-6s.

Omega-3 Foods & Supplements

Additional foods high in Omega-6 from NutritionData.com

Omega-6 Foods & Supplements

It’s not hard to find foods high in Omega-6 in our Western diet. Here are some of the worst offenders.

  • Cooking Oils – sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean
  • Egg yolks
  • Grain fed meats, particularly organ meats
  • Farm raised fish
  • All manner of processed foods

Additional foods high in Omega-6 from NutritionData.com

Keep in mind, Omega-6 is not all bad. The problem is that due to the type of foods we eat, we have thrown the balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3 completely out of whack.

What Happens If I Take My Fish Oils?

  • You may reduce your risk of the eye disease – age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • You may reduce your risk of asthma and allergies.
  • You may reduce your risk of clogged arteries, even if you have other risk factors for heart disease.
  • You may prevent diabetic complications such as: myocardial infarction and stroke due to atherosclerosis, retinopathy, end-stage renal disease, debilitating neuropathies, poor wound healing, enhanced risk of infection, and periodontal disease.
  • You may reduce your risk of memory loss and stroke in your old age.
  • You may improve your cognition and memory while helping to fight against such mental disorders as depression and mood disorders, schizophrenia, and dementia.

What Happens If I Don’t?

The opposite of above.

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