For more information about Tulsa Holistic Doctor Chad Edwards and Omega-3 and 6S visit our website today. This post was originally posted by Doctor Chad on MARCH 11, 2010
Omega-3 & Omega 6 fats are all the rage these days. What are they and why are they important? Hopefully, I’ll clear up some of this…First, it is important to understand the inflammatory chemical pathway (at least on some level).
I am not going to go in detail with this diagram but suffice it to say that certain fats in our body enter this pathway at the top and are acted on by a series of enzymes. These enzymes are the targets of anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil, Motrin, Celebrex, etc.
The result off this pathway is a series of prostaglandins. These prostaglandins have a variety of effects – some beneficial, some not. One large effect is inflammation. In general, we want to limit the inflammation (that is why we take anti-inflammatories).
You’ll also notice TXB2 (thromboxane) which acts on platelets to make them stickier. This is one of the reasons that aspirin is beneficial for patients at risk for heart attacks.
Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are processed through this pathway in similar manner. However, the Omega-3 varieties are less inflammatory. If you plug the system with Omega-3’s (which are less inflammatory), you will have less inflammation.
To maintain optimal health, ensure you have a good ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids.
Americans, typically, consume entirely too much Omega-6 FAs with a ratio around 20:1. Some experts suggest that our ratio should be more like 1:1 or 4:1. Big difference.
You can accomplish this by decreasing your use of the following oils: corn, sunflower, safflower, & cottonseed. These are all high in Omega-6’s. Also, avoid margarines, salad dressings, & mayonnaise. These also tend to be very high in Omega-6’s.