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Omega-6 / Omega-3 Balance for health

Omega-3 / Omega-6 Imbalance

Human body fat is largely made up of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids

We contain very little polyunsaturated fat - At the beginning of the 20th century, dietary fatty acids were mainly saturated or monounsaturated, primarily from butter, lard (pig fat), tallow (beef and mutton fat), coconut oil and olive oil.

Typical diet has Too much Omega-6 and Not enough Omega-3

Prior to the introduction of commercially processed oils, small amounts of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats were traditionally consumed in a 1:1ratio - However, the typical modern-day diet includes way too much omega-6 fat, and very little Omega-3 fat which has resulted in an imbalanced consumption of these two fat families, having serious health consequences.

(1) TOO MUCH Omega-6 Fat

–   Today's dietary fatty acids are mainly from commercially processed polyunsaturated oils, predominately containing Omega-6 Fatty Acids - up to 30% of calories consumed, mostly from processed (damaged) soy, corn, safflower and canola oils, rich in Omega-6 fatty acids;

–   Best evidence indicates an optimum polyunsaturated fat intake of only 4% of calories - This is typically provided in temperate and tropical diets from legumes, grains, nuts, green vegetables, fish, olive oil and animal fats, but NOT from COMMERCIALLY PROCESSED OILS, (introduced in the 1920's with the invention of the expeller press).

–   Much of our omega-6 fat is toxic by being altered or damaged during processing and storage

Damaged / Altered (Toxic) Fats

And (2) LITTLE or NO Omega-3 Fat

–    Most significant dietary sources of Omega-3 -  wild oily fish , grass-fed beef and poultry, game, eyeballs, brain, testes, and flax, chia and hemp seed;

–   HOWEVER - most available salmon and trout is farmed and contains high amounts of Omega-6 compared to Omega-3, animals and birds are fattened in confinement with a high Omega-6 and Low/ No Omega-3 diet. Partridge is rarely on the menu, Omega-3 rich flax and chia seeds are not a generally accepted food-source, and ---- when did you last enjoy some eyeballs, brains or testes with your fries?

Health Effects of Imbalanced Essential fat Intake

Health Effects of Too Much Omega-6

✔ INCREASES INFLAMMATION;

✔ Excessive Omega-6 fat Suppresses the Immune Sysytem - In the 1970's, sunflower oil (naturally high in omega-6 linoleic acid) emulsified with water was given as an intravenous injection to kidney transplant patients to prevent rejection - that is until an excess of cancer deaths was reported. Using excessive PUFAs in foods has the same harmful effect on the immune system.

✔ Anti-thyroid effect - PUFAs block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. Research shows that polyunsaturated vegetable oils promote weight gain. In the late 1940s, it was found that corn and soy beans have an anti-thyroid effect, enabling animals to be fattened at low cost. These PUFAs are now fed to animals, e.g. pigs, to fatten them and cause their usually, predominantly saturated fat to become polyunsaturated.

✔ Increases vasoconstriction, platelet stickiness(i.e. blood clotting);

✔ INCREASES PAIN;

✔ Decreases oxygen flow, Increases cellular proliferation (think cancer);

✔ Constricts airways / muscles

✔ Decreases endurance

✔ Decreases urinary output (i.e. fluid retentive)

✔ Responsible for softer/less stable membranes as excess PUFAs replace saturated fats in the cell membrane - Cell walls are responsible for allowing nutrients into cell, but keeping out toxins. Cholesterol is used by the body to "stiffen" the membranes after consumption of PUFAs , and removed after SFA consumption, explaining why blood cholesterol drops and rises in response to our diet.

✔ Increases damaging free radicals in the body - since Polyunsaturated fatty acids are prone to oxidation, which produces free radicals and leads to oil becoming rancid, especially when subjected to processing /cooking temperatures >320 ºF.

✔ High intake of Linoleic Acid leads to obesity and osteoporosis - causes mesenchymal stem cells to become adipocytes (fat cells) instead of osteoblasts (bone-making cells).

Health Effects of Omega-3 Fat

“You don't know what you've got 'til its gone!”

Omega-3 health benefits include:

Counter inflammation

Dilate blood vessels

Improve insulin regulation

Inhibit new cell growth

Increase urination

Prevent platelet stickiness

Increase oxygen flow

Relax muscles

Enhance the immune system

Dilate airways

Decrease pain

We need to consume a balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids

Our body can not make the essential fatty acids, so we have to include them in our diet

However, they must be consumed in the right proportions - since their presence in the body affects many systems vital for health E.g. their presence in cell membranes affects the body's balanced production of the hormone-like eicosanoids, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which control the inflammation and pain response

EAs - 5 Vital Functions

HIGH OR LOW FAT, FAKE OR NO FAT?

A typical modern-day diet includes way too much omega-6 fat, and very little Omega-3, we now have an imbalanced consumption of these two fat families, which prior to the introduction of commercially processed oils, were traditionally consumed in a 1:1ratio.

Ideal Dietary Supplement Ratio and Amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats

A satisfactory ratio is determined by considering:

–   The ratio of Linloleic Acid (LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) contained in the body

RATIOS

Of

LA: ALA

Brain

Fat Tissue

Other Tissues

~1:1

~5:1

~4:1

–   Conversion enzymes convert ALA four times quicker than LA.

–   Omega-6 promotes degenerative conditions, so we need to favor Omega-3

RATIOS

Of

LA: ALA

Total Dietary Need

Modern diet

Approx. 2-5:1

> 10:1

After much debate, the experts arrived at an approximate healthy maintenance-level, dietary ratio of 2-5 times as much Omega-6 as Omega-3.

According to world-renowned fats expert Udo Erasmus, Ph.D, author of “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill”:

✔ Our Best SUPPLEMENT ratio is 1 LA : 2 ALA - which has been shown to compensate for our typical food diet with its lack of Omega-3 and yet provide the correct balance with Omega-6, to yield the needed 2-5:1 ratio in our diet and in our bodies.

✔ Optimal Health requires a minimum 9-18g Omega-6 LA and 2-9g Omega-3 ALA (includes DHA and EPA)

Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are needed in balance in the cell membrane to produce eicosanoids

Eicosonoids are families of short-lived, hormone-like signals that ensure that cells of a tissue or organ have an appropriately balanced response to trauma or "happenings" just outside the cell

Two eicosanoids you may be familiar with are prostaglandins and leukotrienes - Prostaglandins PG-1. PG-3 and leukotrienes LK-5 derived from fatty acids DGLA or EPA, work in opposition to eicosanoids PG-2 and LK-4 produced by AA. Together these eicosonoids can increase or decrease inflammation and pain, raise or lower blood pressure, control uterine contractions, dilate/constrict vessels, relax/contract muscles, and affect immune response, blood clotting, insulin regulation, nerve impulses, body temperature and fluid levels.

For more detail on the health-necessity of balancing Omega-6 / Omega-3, see:

EFAs - Local Hormones“(Eicosanoids) -“First Response”Team

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