It may pay to consider what your Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio is.

We talk a lot about Omega 3 essential fatty acids on our website, and for good reason, they’re extremely important to your health, as long as you get enough. But today we wanted to look at Omega 6 fatty acids, and what the Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio is. And how it affects you.

Omega 6 fats are also essential fatty acids. Omega 6 is like Omega 3, we can’t make it in our bodies and so we need to get Omega 6 from our diet. However unlike Omega 3 fatty acids, which 90% if us are deficient in, we are not generally deficient in Omega 6 fats. Omega 6 fats are important for a number of reasons, including for maintenance of growth and for good general health. They are important for maintaining the health of the cells in the brain.

Omega 6 fatty acids can also go by the names n-6 fatty acids, w6 fatty acids and linoleic acids.

So whilst we need Omega 6 EFAs in our diet just like we need Omega 3, most of us get enough, if not too much, or way too much.
Omega 6 oils

Omega 6 fats come from completely different sources than the Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 6 fats are found in plant sources like many of our oils, particularly corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil, sesame oil and peanut oil. Soybean oil is almost all Omega 6 fat.

And because many of these oils are used in the production of many of the processed foods we eat, like margarine, they are also found extensively in a wide range of foods we eat every day.

On top of that our meat is now higher in Omega 6 than it was. In the past our beef came from grass fed animals. Cows that eat grass are higher in Omega 3, because it’s found in grass. But now our animals are mainly grain fed, and as you can see the oils from grains are high in Omega 6. So our meat is now much higher in Omega 6 than it was.

Now on to the Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio. It is thought that some time ago we ate roughly as much Omega 3 as we ate Omega 6, That makes an Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio of 1:1. (And you need to change that.)

However our diets have swung much more in favor of a higher intake of Omega 6, and a much lower intake of Omega 3, from eating less fish and from less Omega 2 in meat.

Some scientists suggest that some of us may have an Omega 6 Omega 3 ratio that is as high as 10 times as much 6 as 3. So as you can see we don’t need any more Omega 6. Some estimates are even that some of us can be eating more than 20 times as much Omega 6 as 3, and we have even seen estimates of a ratio of 30 times as much Omega 6 as 3.

Although not fully understood it is thought that a diet high in 6 and low in 3 can lead to some health problems, and that our Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio should be somewhere much lower than it is now, perhaps around 1:3.

A high ratio, it is thought, can lead to thickening of the blood possibly leading to blood clots, a worsening of some autoimmune diseases and an increase in some inflammatory diseases, and more, including cancer. A lower ratio can is associated with a lower breast cancer risk. And there is a wide range of lifestyle diseases that are thought to be susceptible to a high ratio between the 2, including many that are related to inflammation in the body.

So there are 2 things you need to do if  you want to improve your ratio and lessen your risk of various diseases, some serious. You need to lower your intake of Omega 6 by lowering your intake of processed foods and oils, for instance by changing to good oils such as Olive Oil.

And you need to increase your intake of Omega 3 EFAs, by eating more fish or by daily supplementation with high quality fish oil supplements.

Remember, although all essential fatty acids are essential, that doesn’t mean you don’t get enough of them. It seems clear that we get quite enough Omega 6 fats, and that we need to be getting less of them.

Update: A study was undertaken in 2011 to actually identify how our consumption of Omega 6 has changed in the 20th century. Amongst the authors of the study was Joseph Hibbeln, who was have referred to on this site before. Dr Hibbeln is one of the more well known experts in the field of the health benefits of the Omega 3 fatty acids.

The study confirmed we have said here, that there has been a noticeable increase in the intake of Omega 6 fats over the last century.

In fact it was found that since 1909, where the omega 6 fats (as linoleic acide, the form found in the oils from seeds, which are high on our diet now) provided around 2.3 percent of daily calories, that figure has now increased, since 1999, to 7.2 percent, making a 213 percent increase over that 90 year period.

And there was a decrease in the intake of DHA and EPA.

And the study also noted that the consumption of oil from soybeans increased more than 1000 times, which, according to the authors has “likely decreased tissue concentrations of EPA and DHA during the 20th century”.

To read the study click here.

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Are you worried about taking drugs? Want to know how to lower your triglycerides naturally with a no risk product and some lifestyle changes?

Everyone knows about cholesterol. Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, high cholesterol foods and so on. But triglycerides? Finding answers to the question of how to lower  your triglycerides usually starts with another question. What are triglycerides?

Everyone knows fat is bad for you. But is that true? No it’s not. Some fats are bad for you and some fats are good for you. Triglycerides are a form of fat and they’re one of the ones that are bad for you.

There’s all sorts of chemical explanations about what they are, but lets simplify it down for you. Triglycerides are a form of fat that is found in your blood. They get in your blood from what you eat.

Triglycerides are also formed in the body from the fats in the food you eat. This takes place while your food is being digested. Not all triglicerides are fat based, some can be formed from carbohydrates as well.How To Lower Your Triglycerides Naturally

So why do some people have too high a level of triglycerides in their blood, which they should be lowering? From what they eat, from being overweight and from drinking too much alcohol. They can also come from various health conditions.

What foods are more likely to cause high levels? Those high in fats, and in particular saturated fat. Also high sugar foods. These are foods that you don’t want to eat too much. What you need to eat is foods to lower triglycerides.

What is the problem with too much triglycerides in the blood? They can lead to blood clots, which isn’t a good thing, and they can also cause your HDL (good cholesterol) to lower. Both of those are bad. Basically it’s linked to coronary artery disease.

And high triglycerides can be a risk factor in diabetes and thyroid problems as well as kidney disease. They can also contribute to health problems caused by high cholesterol.

So lets now look at how to lower triglycerides. If yours are too high you need to know this.

1. Eat the right diet to lower triglycerides. Foods that are lower in fat, fresh and good for your health. More fresh fruit and vegetables. Less high fat foods, less sugar. Cook with Olive oil or Canola oil.

2. Exercise more. Exercise helps a lot, and is good for you in so many other ways.

3. Lower your intake of alcohol.

4. Try to reduce your weight if it’s excessive.

5. Increase your intake of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats. For example instead of eating steak tonight, eat an oily fish full of good Omega 3 fats.

The role of Omega 3 fish oils in lowering triglycerides.

It is now well established that increasing your intake of Omega 3 fats, found primarily in fish oils, is an important part of a good diet to lower triglycerides.

The American Heart Association tells us that we need to increase our intake of fish or fish oil supplements to combat a whole range of different heart conditions, including high triglycerides. That’s because fish and fish oil supplements are the best source of Omega 3 fats, and Omega 3s are a very important part of the best diets to lower triglycerides as well as an important part of our overall health generally.

Omega 3 fats are one of the good fats. Remember I said, not all fats are bad.

So if you’ve been wondering about how to lower your triglcyerides naturally, you do have options. There are well recognized ways to do this, including some dietary and lifestyle changes.

Look more closely at what you eat. Take time to exercise more, lose a little weight and increase your intake of protective Omega 3 fats from taking daily fish oil supplements and you’re on top of it.

Lastly, always consult your doctor. It’s always important for any health condition to do that.

How do you lower your triglycerides? Do all that and you’re on your way.

Note, more recent update. More and more we are reading about not only the health benefits of the Omega 3 fats, including to those with elevated triglycerides, but we are also seeing more and more about the negative health affects of too much Omega 6. Whilst we don’t intend to canvas the issue of Omega 3 vs Omega 6 in this article, we do suggest you consider not only the health benefits of Omega 3 but the negative effects of eating too much Omega 6.

To this end read our article about the Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio.

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The great Krill oil Versus fish oil debate. Who wins?

There has been much noise made lately about the benefits of Krill oil, and many people have started taking Krill oil capsules as a result. It is said that Krill oil contains more beneficial components, and as a result there has been a bit of a Krill oil versus fish oil debate. So should you be taking Krill oil or fish oil?

Perhaps we should begin by discussing exactly what Krill oil is. Krill are tiny shrimplike creatures that live in the colder areas of our oceans. Whales eat them by the ton, and they also make up a part of the diet of humans, mainly the Japanese and Russians.

Lets say at the start that the important Omega 3 essential fatty acids are DHA and EPA. Both Krill and fish oil are a source of these important Omega-3 fats.

So if both oils contain both EPA and DHA how do you choose one or the other?

1. Compare The Cost Of The DHA That You Are Getting.

It is generally considered that DHA is more important to your health than EPA, though EPA is certainly important as well. Around 60% of your brain is fat, and DHA is the most prevalent, and adding DHA and EPA to your diet promotes a range of health benefits including benefits to your mental function as well as reducing the risk of death from heart disease, helping your cholesterol levels and helping you reduce weight, and much more.

When you’re buying quality Omega 3 oil supplements you are primarily buying DHA. So one of the most important parts of comparing the different oil capsules is to assess the cost of the DHA that you’re buying. This is simply a matter of making a mathematical calculation of the amount of DHA in each capsule as a proportion of the price.Krill Oil Vs Fish Oil

If you make a comparison of Krill oil compared to fish oil capsules you’ll find that the DHA that you’re buying in Krill oil softgels is significantly more expensive than the DHA you are buying in fish oil supplements. In fact it is over 5 times more expensive to buy DHA in Krill oil form that it is as fish oil.

Krill oil is very low in DHA, the most important of the Omega 3 fats.

2. The Level Of Toxic Contamination In Each.

One of the perceived differences between fish oil and Krill oil is that the latter is less contaminated than the former. This however is not necessarily the case.

Airborne contamination can affect all parts of the globe. Scientists have found man-made pollution even in the North Atlantic and the Antarctic, including in creatures which inhabit the Antarctic such as penguins. Airborne pollution is found everywhere.

Establishing the cleanliness of the supplements that you buy is essential. Nowadays, sad to say, all forms of Omega 3 oils are likely to demonstrate some degree of contamination. The days are gone when it is possible to source marine oils high in DHA and EPA that are completely contamination free. This includes Krill oil.

However it’s quite possible to buy completely clean fish oil supplements. This is not because they are totally clean to begin with but it is because they have undergone rigorous decontamination processes, and the results have been checked by independent laboratory analysis. Before buying any Omega 3 supplements you should always check the certificate of analysis of the oil, which should always be made available to the public on the website.

Many people are unaware that Krill oil undergoes no decontamination process. It is therefore untrue to say that Krill oil is free from contamination.

3. Scientific Evidence Showing The Effectiveness Of The Supplements.

There have been literally thousands of studies which have demonstrated the effectiveness of the DHA and EPA Omega 3 fats in improving your health. However although there are claims by the manufacturers that Krill oil is tremendously effective in improving your health there are very few, if any, independent scientific studies that show that Krill oil is any better to your health compared to fish oil. The benefits of the Omega 3 fats in one will be the same benefits as found in the same quantity of Omega3 fats in the other.

Most of the studies that do exist are in fact financed by people with a financial interest in selling Krill oil. One Canadian company owns the patent on Krill oil and finances the studies, of which there are very few.

4. The Presence Of Astaxanthin In Krill Oil.

It is said that Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with significant health benefits, and that Astaxanthin is found in Krill. Whilst this is true it is also true that some high quality fish oil supplements contain Astaxanthin at a significantly higher proportion that is found in Krill oil.

The anti-oxidant potency of Krill oil is in fact lower than that of the best fish oil supplements.

5. The DHA And EPA Are Attached To Phospholipids.

This is one more reason why it is claimed that Krill oil is more potent than fish oil. Without going into all of the scientific mumbo-jumbo about what this means, the bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence that this does anything at all, and there is no more evidence that the phospholipid structure in Krill oil offers any health benefits.

Ultimately Krill oil is about marketing. The health benefits of Omega 3 supplementation are established by many many scientific studies, and the benefit of fish oil to your health is recognized by such eminent authorities as the American Heart Association.

However, whilst Krill oil supplements are cleverly marketed, there is no independent scientific evidence to suggest that they are any more beneficial to your health than high quality Omega 3 fish oil supplements, they are dramatically more expensive for the same amount of active ingredient, and because they are not subject to any decontamination process the contamination level of Krill oil supplements may be extremely high. Nobody knows.

So if you’re convinced of the health benefits of DHA and EPA supplementation, and if you’ve been wondering about fish oil vs Krill oil debate, then rest assured that buying fish oil supplements will be cheaper, safer, and better for your health.

NOTE: More recently we have noticed an issue crop up with krill oil capsules that we had never thought of before.

There are some suggestions that krill can contain very small amounts of shellfish. This may be because they eat it, we have no idea. However we have read the suggestion that this may be an issue for people who have a shellfish allergy. To read a little more about krill allergens, albeit in scientific language, click here.

We haven’t seen any solid evidence in support of this suggestion, but thought we’d mention it anyway. Perhaps it’s being studied somewhere, we don’t know. To find clean quality fish oil supplements click here.

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A new study is showing significant benefits to Omega 3 supplementation during pregnancy

There is some debate about the possible benefits and the possible risks of taking Omega 3 supplements during pregnancy. Not all medical authorities agree that you either should or shouldn’t supplement with Omega 3 fish oil when you are pregnant.

Of course the first answer to this question is always to consult your doctor. Every woman who is considering any form of supplementation during pregnancy should always have the issue checked out by their doctor, because there are so many individual personal medical circumstances to consider.

However there is a growing body of evidence that the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA are beneficial to both the mother and to the growing baby during pregnancy. Whilst studies have been mixed a new Australian study has now suggested that there are in fact significant benefits to Omega 3 supplementation in pregnancy.
Omega 3 during pregnancy
In the past we have talked about some of the benefits of Omega 3 supplementation during pregnancy to the fetus, and growing baby as effects both mental and visual development. There is significant evidence that the Omega 3 essential fatty acids have an important role in mental development and the development of vision in young children.

However this new 5 year Australian study has now suggested another area where there may be benefits to the mother and to the baby from Omega 3 supplementation through pregnancy.

The results of this trial has suggested that Omega 3 supplementation may well also lead to a reduction in the risk of premature birth.

In this study 2400 pregnant women were given Omega 3 supplements, or a placebo. Supplementation began at 19 weeks and continued through until the birth of the baby.

The results of the study showed a significant reduction in risk of premature birth, in fact so significant that they found a 50 percent reduction in the risk of early delivery.

And on top of that they also found a 35 percent drop in the birth weight of babies born to mothers who were supplementing. As well there was a drop in serious health problems in those children and a reduction in infants deaths of 66%, a very significant finding.

As mentioned, we have previously talked about the role of Omega 3 fatty acids in the development of mental ability in children. In this new Australian study it was also observed that the babies and infants of mothers who were supplemented with the Omega 3 fatty acids had a reduced risk of suffering slow cognitive development and slow development of language skills.

We have also discussed previously the role of Omega 3 supplementation in mental disorders such as depression, including postnatal depression.

And the researchers in this study, on top of the conclusions previously referred to, also noted that women who took the Omega 3 supplements during pregnancy were less at risk of postnatal depression.

This result accords with others finding that there is evidence that the Omega 3 essential fatty acids can help improve some mental disorders such as depression.

As we said at the start, whether you’re considering taking Omega 3 supplements during pregnancy, or any other form of supplement during pregnancy, talk to your doctor first.

However it does seem clear that there is a growing body of evidence supporting the conclusion that there are significant health benefits to supplementation during pregnancy, and developing studies seem to be supporting the conclusion.

But as always more work is being done and it’s difficult to say when there is sufficient evidence to safe for sure.

 

 

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