OMEGA-3S & 6S – THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE TWO MATTERS

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**For more information about Tulsa Doctors and Tulsa Holistic Expert, Doctor Chad Edwards. This post was written on MARCH 13, 2010

In my previous couple of posts I discussed the structure of Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids as well as little bit about why Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial. The intake balance between the two is very import. This is why…Recall the Arachidonic Acid Pathway… Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids both enter this pathway. There are 2 outcomes which are enzyme driven:

  1. Prostaglandins
  2. Eicosanoids

The prostaglandins serve a variety of critical functions. They function as antihypertensives, platelet aggregators (when you have tissue damage & need to stop bleeding), certain smooth muscle contractions, stomach protection, neurotransmission, etc. However, there are negative prostaglandins as well – meaning some of them have bad effects. PGE2, for example, is one of the primary components responsible for inflammation.

Ray Shelian, MD describes 3 series of prostaglandins:

  1. Series 1 – made from linoleic acid. These prostaglandins relax blood vessles, improve circulation, lower blood pressure, decrease inflammation, improve nerve function, regulate calcium metabolism, improve T-cell function, and, lastly, prevent the release of Arachidonic Acid from cells.
  2. Series 2 – made from Arachidonic Acid. They promote platelet aggregation, inflammation, sodium retention, and may influence heart disease, blood clots, increased cortisol production, etc.
  3. Series 3 – made from EPA. The primary function of series 3 prostaglandins is to prevent Arachidonic Acid release from cells.

Arachidonic Acid passing through this pathway increases inflammation and the other issues noted in Series 2. Anything we can do to decrease activity resulting from the Arachidonic Acid pathway is beneficial.

Remember that Omega-3’s & Omega-6’s can go through the same pathway. The Omega-3’s are converted at a lower rate resulting in a lower quantity. The products of this pathway are then degraded by enzymes.

This system, like many in the body, is in constant balance. However, sometimes the production exceeds metabolism resulting in increased inflammation. Omega-3’s are inflammatory but to a lesser extent. Additionally, they are produced slower resulting in fewer numbers. This is one of the many benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids.