One good reason it is important to have a low omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio
Both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are essential which means we have to get them through the diet, since the body cannot make them. The omega 6 fatty acid intake is quite a bit higher than the omega 3 intake the way most people eat now.
Omega 6 fatty acids are precursors for arachidonic acid which again is a part of the inflammatory cascade which is producing the inflammatory cytokines (substances). The omega 3 fatty acids are more known for reducing inflammation.
Both of these fatty acids are important and they are incorporated into the cell membranes.
The following research is interesting because it measured telomere length as it relates to aging, and how this is affected by the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et.al., 2013).
Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes. If DNA strands become damaged our cells will not function properly. Longer telomeres are generally related to better health.
This was a double-blind four-month study, and included 106 healthy sedentary overweight middle-aged older adults who received either 2.5g/day, l.25g/day or a placebo capsule for 4 months. Oxidative stress and telomere length were measured.
The researchers found that oxidative stress was reduced, and that telomere length increased with decreasing omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio. This data suggests that a lower omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio can impact cell aging.
Other research has documented that omega 3 fatty acids also reduce inflammation.
The omega 3 fatty acids used in this research were from fish oil and had a high amount of EPA.
Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Feb;28:16-24, Epel ES, Belury MA, Andridge R, Lin J, Glaser R, Malarkey WB, Hwang BS, Blackburn E. Omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stress, and leukocyte telomere length: A randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Feb;28:16-24.
The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid. Most fish oils on the market are ethyl esters because that’s cheaper to produce.
The Better Fish Oil comes in the form of triglycerides which offers better stability to the fatty acids and prevents breakdown and oxidation.
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