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OMEGA 3 / OMEGA 6

Published by: Denis Muić - LCHF
What are OMEGA 3 and OMEGA 6?
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are an integral part of polyunsaturated fats and are vital to human health. They are considered essential because the body does not synthesize them, but they must be obtained through the diet.

The role of Omega 3 and Omega 6 in the body

These fatty acids are essential for health, as they regulate the so-called EICOSANOID system. Eicosanoids are divided into two basic groups: the "good" and the "bad". Good Eicosanoids have anti-inflammatory effect and ensure good health and immunity, while the bad ones cause inflammations due to protection against the damage caused by physical and mental stress. Both groups of eicosanoids are necessary, but the problem occurs, when bad eicosanoids prevail over the good ones. This occurs when we consume too much omega-6 fatty acids, and inflammatory processes that are regulated by the bad eicosanoids become chronic, resulting in the occurrence of cardiovascular and other diseases. Omega 3 manage the group of good anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, while omega-6 manage the bad eicosanoids and provoce inflammations.

It is to blame the modern eating habits and modern food industry for oversized intake of omega-6 fatty acids. These are located mainly in vegetable oils, margarine and cereals, the use of which has risen sharply during the last forty years.
 

 
Omega-3 fatty acids that protect the body against the inflammatory processes, are present in three different forms: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). EPA is the one that manages good eicosanoids. Again, all three forms are important, but the biggest problem is a lack of EPA and DHA, while sufficient amount of ALA is provided with a normal diet. EPA and DHA are located only in the food of animal origin, namely in oily fish and seafood (salmon, sardines, mackerel), grass-fed animal meat and free-range eggs.
 

 
In the past, when people were eating unprocessed food, the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids was 1:1. Today, due to the before mentioned modern eating habits, this ratio has increased to even 1:20 in favor of omega-6 fatty acid, causing a whole series of inflammatory processes in the body and formation of a number of modern diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer.
 
How to ensure adequate intake of Omega 3?

The first thing you can do to restore the proper balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, is to change eating habits by replacing processed food with real fresh food and reduce sugar and starch intake.
The second, also very efficient and easy way to ensure your body a sufficient amount of omega-3, is with Omega 3 food supplements. However, before the purchase, make sure you check the amount of EPA and DHA per serving and to select supplement with higher values. Excellent choice are capsules with krill oil.
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