Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids

Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids

Trends 12 September, 2016 Ana María López de Mesa


Among the fatty acids that are essential for the development of the human body, there are two that the body itself is not capable of producing: omega 3 and omega 6.

Both are important components of cell membranes and other substances that help in the anti-inflammatory process and regulate blood pressure, among other benefits. It is therefore important to include them in our diet in order for the body to receive the necessary dose of both components.

The discussion lies in the ideal ratio between one and the other, because the truth is that the excess of omega 6 has been related to the increased risk of coronary disease, among other health issues. That is why, although this acid is necessary in the body, its intake should be controlled and always accompanied by omega 3 in order for it to have a positive effect.

“Omega 6 alone, if not complemented by omega 3, will go from having beneficial properties to being terribly inflammatory,” says Carlos Jaramillo, a surgeon specializing in functional medicine, explaining that human beings must have a one-to-one ratio of these two components and the average in Colombia, according to research conducted by the Team brand, is currently 1 omega 3:25 omega 6.

Thus the specialist’s recommendation to take omega 3 in a chronic and sustained manner in order to help offset the balance, hopefully making it part of the daily diet. He also argues that in biochemistry, when omega 3 and omega 6 are joined, the action of the first is boosted, so it is beneficial to consume products that integrate both fatty acids.

Including them in your diet would be the ideal choice, but if this is not going to be done conscientiously, a good option would be the products in the form of oils or supplements. On the market, you can find products such as coconut oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties and provides fast and safe energy, compared to energy drinks that are high in glucose, due to its content of medium chain triglycerides. There are also other oils, such as virgin linseed oil, that favor the optimal functioning of the brain, promoting concentration and learning due to their Omega 3 content, and others that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease thanks to plant sterol esters with both types of omega.