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Ratio between Omega 3 and Omega 6

Omega 6 fatty acids are also essential fatty acids that must be present in a balanced diet.

Omega 6 fatty acids are found in meat or eggs. They are also essential fatty acids that must be present in a balanced diet, but just as Omega 3s are precursors of anti-inflammatory agents, Omega 6s are precursor molecules for inflammation, vasoconstriction and increased platelet aggregation (Figure 3).

The change in dietary habits of the last 100-150 years has led to an increase in the consumption of saturated fat and Omega 6, while the intake of Omega 3 has been drastically reduced, with highly unbalanced Omega 6: Omega 3 ratios of 10: 1 or even 20: 1 (For every 20 Omega 6, 1 Omega 3 is consumed).

Many studies show that the healthy recommendations between the Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio is 1: 1 or at most 2: 1 (2 Omega 6 for each Omega 3 consumed), since an excess of Omega 6 can lead to problems for human health such as increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease or developing certain types of cancer.

For this reason, it is necessary to increase the intake of fish with respect to red meat and, therefore, the intake of Omega 3 with respect to Omega 6.

Figure 3. Dietary sources and general metabolic pathway of Omega 6 and Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids leading, respectively, to inflammatory or anti-inflammatory effects. Source: Font: Fabian et al., 2015


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