Omega 3-6 essential acids
Finally, there are the “essential” fatty acids, which are two types of fatty acids that are important for our body in small quantities. The “essential” means that wc cannot synthesize them in our bodies, and therefore must rely on diet to get them. “Essential” does not mean taking mega-quantities and using supplements. These fatty acids are the omega 6 fatty acids and the omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acids can be found in most margarine, salad and cooking oils, so most of us do not have too much of a problem satisfying our omega 6 requirements. Omega 3 fatty
acids can be found in fish, flax-seed, canola and soybean oils. The trick is to keep a balance of omega-3 to omega 6 intake for our body’s fat metabolism to be normal. The normal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 should not decrease below 1:5. That means we should ingest at least a gram of omega 3 for every five grams of omega 6. Although this does not sound difficult, it actually is. Most western diets have a 1:15 to I : 17 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6, as they have evolved to include more oils and margarine’s (the abundant omega-6’s) and less fish, flax, canola and soybean oils (the sparse omega-3’s). Although you may feel this does not apply to you, think of how your food is prepared at home and—even scarier—at the restaurant.
These abnormal ratios between omega-6 and omega-3 lead to chronic health problems. notably heart disease and inflammation—such as in autoimmune disease, asthma, arthritis—and may have implications in cancer. While excess omega-6 is thought to contribute to those diseases, the intake of omega-3 fatty acids is actually protective. The reason why the ratios of these two essential fats have such an effect on health is because omega-3 and omega-6 are both metabolized by the same enzyme pathways to make other products. If there is far more omega-6 than omega-3, then the omega-3 metabolism is shoved aside and the protective products of omega-3 are never made in sufficient quantities. The products of omega-6 fatty acid make the factors that arc responsible for inflammation, so an excess of omega—6 fatty acids in the diet will lead your body to make more these factors on inflammation. Excess inflammation is an underlying mechanism to chronic diseases, including cancer. If we consume more omega-3’s, then we can block omega-6’s from becoming inflammatory factors with all of their consequences!