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Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Importance, Benefits, Uses and Side Effects.

Fatty acids are organic compounds composed of carbon chains of varying lengths, with an acid group on one end and hydrogen bound to all the carbons of the chain. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are those that are necessary for health, but cannot be synthesized by the body.
The typical American diet tends to contain 14 – 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, has a healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids actually reduce inflammation and Omegas 6s increase inflammation, it’s important to have a balanced diet to offset Omega 6 inflammatory affects.
Imbalance between the intakes of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids causes inflammation if the intake of Omega-6 is more than Omega-3.
This dietary imbalance may lead to the rise of diseases as :
– asthma
– coronary heart disease
– many forms of cancer
– autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body.
– obesity
– depression
– dyslexia
– hyperactivity and even a tendency toward violence.
Cut down on omega-6 levels by reducing consumption of processed and fast foods and polyunsaturated vegetable oils. At home, use extra virgin olive oil for cooking and in salad dressings.

Dietary Sources:
Sources of omega-6 fatty acids are numerous in modern diets.
– Olive Oil
– Wheatgerm
– Grapeseeds
– Pistachios
– Sesame Oil
– Hempseed Oil
– Pumpkin Seeds
– Chia Seed Oil
– Safflower Oil
– Sunflower Oil
– Cottonseed Oil
– Raw Nuts & Seeds

Uses and Benefits of Omega-6 Fatty acids

– Taking gamma linolenic acid (GLA) for 6 months or more may reduce symptoms of nerve pain in people with diabetic neuropathy.
– Some studies have shown that taking primrose oil helps reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
– Children with Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have lower levels of EFAs, both omega-6s and omega-3s. EFAs are important to normal brain and behavioral function.
– GLA may help reduce high blood pressure, either alone or in combination with omega-3 fatty acids.
– Evening primrose oil may reduce breast pain and tenderness in people with cyclic mastalgia.

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