What is Omega 6 and Omega 3 Balance?
An Introduction to Omega 6 and Omega 3 Balance.
What is Omega 6 and Omega 3 ratio?
And why is it important to your overall health,
to balance your Omega 6:3 ratio to a ratio of 4:1 and down?
The History Of The Omega 6:3 Balance
“The high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in today’s Western diets promote the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases.”
Artemis Simopoulos, MD, president of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition, and Health and author of The Omega Diet.
Omega 6 Vs. Omega 3
Omega 6 and Omega 3 are critical to your overall health.
The right ratio of omega 6 and omega 3, is important, for your body to work optimally, and to improve the long-term health.
Essential fatty acid deficiency
What Are The Essential Fatty Acids?
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are the only essential fatty acids, which means that your body can’t produce them by itself and needs it from an outside source.
That’s why they are termed the “essential” fatty acids (EFAs).
Omega 6 and Omega 3 are the most important fatty acids.
We need both in the diet. Otherwise, we risk ending up sick.
The (EFA’s) is supporting many vital roles in your overall health, this includes ensuring proper growth and development of the brain and nervous system, reducing the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease.
They play a critical role in helping the cell walls to become more fluid, increasing nutrient absorption and getting rid of waste products from the cells.
Research shows that omega 3 and omega 6 work together to help manage blood pressure and blood clotting. They also help to regulate the immune system, including the body’s inflammation response.
Essential fatty acid deficiency is linked to a wide range of symptoms and disorders.
Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic Nutritional Recommendations, 2004/2012.
The World Health Organization (WHO)
Recommends an omega 6 and omega 3 balance
between 2:1 to 5:1 (Recently adjusted down to 4:1).
“As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), Chronic disease is estimated to be the cause of death of approximately 38 million people worldwide every year.
PUFAs, and EPA and DHA, in particular, have long been associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular mortality and cognitive decline.
The conclusions of this paper highlight that a significant proportion of the population is at increased risk of chronic disease due to low omega-3 PUFA status.
(PUFA is short for Poly Unsaturated Fatty acids).”
Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, senior vice president, nutrition science and advocacy at DSM and Professor of Healthy Ageing at the University Medical Center Groningen.
Balance your Omega 3 and Omega 6
In the years ahead, it is expected that we will see a massive increase in lifestyle-related diseases.The imbalance between omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids in the body is a driving force for the development of lifestyle-related health problems. Science is starting to point at the omega 6/3 ratio as one of the main reasons we are seeing a rise worldwide in lifestyle diseases and chronic inflammation or you could say a fire within our bodies.
A thumb rule says, that:
Most Omega 6’s causes inflammation, and most Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory.
How Do You Get In Balance And Know Your Own Omega 6:3 Ratio?
Omega 3 Blood Test
Zinzino, is one of the leading companies in omega 6 and omega 3 balance products.
The company has made a concept, where you can test your fatty acid profile in the blood, this includes the omega 6:3 ratio.
With their Balance Oil, you can obtain an omega 6:3 balance of 3:1 or lower in just 120 days.
Vitas, one of the leading laboratories in the Nordic countries, has analyzed more than 200.000 anonymous first-time blood sample tests from customers before starting on the Balance Oil, which shows that the average ratio of Omega 6:3 is:
The Average Balance Of The Western World.
- In Scandinavia: 12:1
- In Europe: 15:1
- In the USA: 23:1
Out of those tested in Europe:
- 75% didn’t take Omega 3 supplement and had an average balance of 12:1
- 20% took some Omega 3 supplement and had an average balance of 7:1
- 5% had a balance of 3:1 in Europe
95% of those who took the BalanceOil on a daily basis,
optimized their omega 6/3 balance to a ratio of 3:1 or lower after 120 days.
Only 5% of those who took the BalanceOil on a daily basis didn’t get a balance of 3:1 or lower.
And Chronic Diseases
|When Humans Were Developed||1:1||Establishment Of Genetic Pattern|
|Todays Western Diet||15-25:1||Plant Oils And Meat Are Preferred Over Fish|
|Cardiovascular Disease||4:1||Up To 70% Reduction In Mortality|
|Colorectal And Breast Cancer||2.5:1||Reduced Risk of Developing Cancer|
|Inflammatory Diseases||2-3:1||Reduced Inflammation Of Arthritis|
|Autoimmune Diseases||5:1||Favorable effect against Asthma|
Artemis P. Simopoulos, 2008 Minireview – The Importance of the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Diseases and Other Chronic Diseases Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 674-688. *The Center for Genetics and health, Washington, DC 20009, Artemis P. Simopoulus. 2011. Evolutionary Aspects of Diet. The Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio and the Brain. Mol. Neurobiology, 29. January 2011.
The recommended ratio from WHO is between 5:1 and 2:1, for optimal health benefits it should be 3:1 and lower, according to studies made.
Prostaglandin And Inflammation
Our body reacts on a bee sting by swelling the attacked area (causing acute inflammation) and telling the body’s immune system to send aid to the inflamed area.
A complicated process of inflammation and blood clotting is triggered.
As a part of this process, a group of signal hormones called prostaglandins is formed during a chemical reaction at the site where the injury or other issue occurred.
What makes prostaglandins unique among hormones, is that they are not secreted from a gland, but are created at the time they are needed directly where the problem exists.
Problems with prostaglandins can limit the healing process, cause increased inflammation and pain, and impact your overall health.
Once the attack is under control, the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 kicks in.
Omega-6/Omega-3 Balance And Prostaglandin Balance In The Body
Production of prostaglandins is strongly affected by our diet, but also by the body’s hormone balance, health status, and medication.
Due to high consumption of vegetable oils and meat from grain-fed animals, many people have a surplus of arachidonic acid (AA, omega-6 ) in their body.
This may result in an imbalance between omega 6 and omega 3. If such situation is sustained over time, chronic inflammation may develop and promote lifestyle-related health issues.
However, prostaglandin balance may be restored by changing to a diet rich in marine omega-3 fatty acids.
For more information on prostaglandins, take a look at these links:
Why most sources of omega 3 won’t get you in balance
Farmed salmon contain more omega 6 than wild caught salmon because they are mostly fed with soy, corn and other Omega 6 rich fodder (Not to mention all the antibiotic treatments and sea lice treatments).
The seas are getting more and more contaminated, so the fish contain more heavy metals than is good for us (and them). The higher up the food chain, the more heavy metals they contain.
(2) Even some canned tuna in oil, contain a ratio of Omega 6:3 up to 15:1 This is because the oil used in the can is Omega 6.
If you were to balance your Omega 6:3 ratio eating fish. Some suggests that you would have to eat fish twice a day to get enough EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are the active compounds in the Omega 3 fish oil. (and that would have to be wild caught deep sea fish to avoid heavy metal contamination).
What About Plant-Based Omega 3?
You might have heard that you can get Omega 3 in foods like flax, chia seeds, and walnuts.
It’s true that these are excellent vegetarian sources, but the form of Omega-3 in these products is called Alpha-Linolenic acid or ALA, which the body has to convert into the longer chained EPA and DHA to benefit from it…
The problem is that the body can only convert a small portion (1-5%), into the beneficial EPA and DHA. But it’s still a good idea to supplement with those along with marine-based Omega 3’s.
What about Fish Oil Supplements?
Most fish oils go through a refining process where it’s cleaned from heavy metals and other contamination (which is good).
But in that process, the natural polyphenols that are in the fish protecting against oxidation is removed, exposing the oil to oxidation.
This destroys the Omega 3 and makes it harsh, which have adverse health effects.
So to keep the oil from oxidation, most fish oils are added vitamin E to help prevent oxidation.
This is all fine, but unfortunately, it’s not enough, because it takes the body up to 30 – 35 hours to fully uptake the oil and in that time most fish oils tend to get oxidized and thus have the opposite effect than desired.
Another overlooked issue is that many fish oil supplements come in capsules and is dosed wrongly since the correct dose depends on weight and how much EPA and DHA the oil contains.
Oil Stability Index
AOCS Official Method Cd12b-92
Average of 3 analysis at 70°C SINTEF – Fisheries and Aquaculture – August 2010
Benefits Of Omega 3
1. Brain – Help maintain optimal and healthy brain function.
2. Circulation – Help maintain optimal and healthy circulation.
3. DNA Protection – Helps protect your DNA from free radical damage.
4. Anti-Oxidant – Protects your cells from the oxidative stress by free radicals.
5. Cell Function – Provides nutrients vital to optimal cell function.
6. Bone Health – Provides nutrients vital to a healthy bone structure.
7. Vision – Helps maintain optimal and healthy eye function.
8. Hair and Nails – Supports healthy hair and nails.
9. Skin Health and Elasticity – Promotes skin health and elasticity.
10.Heart – Helps maintain optimal and healthy heart function.
11.Immune System – Supports optimal and healthy immune function.
12.Muscle Health – Supports optimal and healthy muscle function.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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