Omega 6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids. They’re necessary for human health, but the body cannot make them. You’ve got to urge them through food. Alongside omega 3 fatty acids, omega 6 fatty acids play an important role in brain function, and normal growth and development. As a kind of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), omega-6s help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the genital system .
A healthy diet contains a balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and a few omega 6 fatty acids tend to market inflammation. In fact, some studies suggest that elevated intakes of omega 6 fatty acids may play a task in complex regional pain syndrome. The standard American diet tends to contain 14 to 25 times more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 fatty acids.
The Mediterranean diet, on the opposite hand, features a healthier balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Studies show that folks who follow a Mediterranean-style diet are less likely to develop heart condition . The Mediterranean diet doesn’t include much meat (which is high in omega-6 fatty acids, though grass fed beef features a more favorable omega 3 to omega 6 carboxylic acid ratio), and emphasizes foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, garlic, also as moderate wine consumption.
There are several differing types of omega 6 fatty acids, and not all promote inflammation.
Most omega-6 fatty acids within the diet come from vegetable oils, like Linolic acid (LA), to not be confused with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega 3 fatty acid. Linolic acid is converted to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) within the body. It can then break down further to arachidonic acid (AA). GLA is found in several plant-based oils, including herb oil (EPO), borage oil, and black currant seed oil.
GLA may very well reduce inflammation. Much of the GLA taken as a supplement is converted to a substance called DGLA that fights inflammation. Having enough of certain nutrients within the body (including magnesium, zinc, and vitamins C, B3, and B6) helps promote the conversion of GLA to DGLA.
Benefits of omega 6
Omega 6 fatty acids could also be useful for the subsequent health conditions:
Some studies show that taking gamma omega 6 fatty acid (GLA) for six months or more may reduce symptoms of nerve pain in people with diabetic neuropathy. People that have good blood glucose control may find GLA more practical than those with poor blood glucose control.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Studies are mixed on whether herb oil (EPO) helps reduce symptoms of RA. Preliminary evidence suggests EPO may reduce pain, swelling, and morning stiffness, but other studies have found no effect. When using GLA for symptoms of arthritis, it’s going to take 1 to three months for benefits to seem . it’s unlikely that EPO would help stop progression of the disease. So joint damage would still occur.
Omega-6 fatty acids from food or supplements, like GLA from EPO or other sources, have a longstanding history of folks use for allergies. Women who are susceptible to allergies appear to possess lower levels of GLA in breast milk and blood. However, there’s no good scientific evidence that taking GLA helps reduce allergy symptoms. Well-conducted research studies are needed.
Before you are trying GLA for allergies, work together with your doctor to work out if it’s safe for you. Then follow your allergy symptoms closely for any signs of improvement.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Clinical studies suggest that children with ADHD have lower levels of EFAs, both omega-6s and omega-3s. EFAs are important to normal brain and behavioral function. Some studies indicate that taking omega 3 fish oil may help reduce ADHD symptoms, though the studies haven’t been neat . Most studies that used EPO have found it had been no better than placebo at reducing symptoms.
One study found that ladies with carcinoma who took GLA had a far better response to tamoxifen (a drug wont to treat estrogen-sensitive breast cancer) than those that took only tamoxifen. Other studies suggest that GLA inhibits tumor activity among carcinoma cell lines. There’s some research suggesting that a diet rich in omega-6 fatty acids may promote carcinoma development. Don’t add carboxylic acid supplements, or any supplements, to your carcinoma treatment regimen without your doctor’s approval.
Evidence is mixed on whether EPO can help reduce symptoms of eczema. Preliminary studies showed some benefit, but they weren’t neat . Later studies that examined people that took EPO for 16 to 24 weeks found no improvement in symptoms. If you would like to undertake EPO, ask your doctor about whether it’s safe for you.
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Preliminary evidence suggests that GLA may help reduce high blood pressure, either alone or together with vegan omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil, namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In one study, men with borderline high vital sign who took 6g of blackcurrant oil had a discount in diastolic vital sign compared to those that took placebo.
Another study examined people with lameness , which is pain within the legs while walking that’s caused by blockages within the blood vessels. Those that took GLA combined with EPA had a discount in systolic vital sign compared to those that took placebo.
More research is required to ascertain whether GLA is actually effective for hypertension.
EPO has gained popularity as how to treat hot flashes related to menopause. But thus far studies are inconclusive. If you would like to undertake EPO for decent flashes and night sweats, ask your doctor whether it’s safe and right for you.
Breast pain (mastalgia)
Some evidence suggests that EPO may reduce breast pain and tenderness in people with cyclic mastalgia. it’s going to also help reduce symptoms to a lesser extent in people with noncyclic mastalgia. However, it doesn’t seem to be effective for severe breast pain.
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
EPO has been suggested as a further treatment (along with standard therapy) for MS, although there’s no scientific evidence that it works. People with MS who want to feature EPO to their treatment regimens should talk with a health care provider.
Some studies suggest that folks who don’t get enough essential fatty acids (particularly EPA and GLA) are more likely to possess bone loss than those with normal levels of those fatty acids. During a study of girls over 65 with osteoporosis, those that took EPA and GLA supplements had less bone loss over 3 years than those that took placebo. Many of those women also experienced a rise in bone density.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Although most studies have found no effect, some women report relief of PMS symptoms when using GLA. The symptoms that appear to enhance the foremost are breast tenderness and feelings of depression, also as irritability and swelling and bloating from fluid retention.
For general health, there should be a balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. The ratio should be within the range of 2:1 to 4:1, omega 6 to omega 3, and a few health educators advocate even lower ratios. Omega 6 fatty acids are often found in sunflower, safflower, soy, sesame, and corn oils. the typical diet provides many omega 6 fatty acids, so supplements are usually not necessary. People with specific conditions, like eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, diabetes, or breast tenderness (mastalgia) might want to ask their doctors about taking omega 6 supplements.
Omega 6 fatty acids are available in supplemental oils that contain linolic acid (LA) and GLA, like EPO (Oenothera biennis) and black currant (Ribes nigrum) oils. Spirulina (often called blue-green algae) also contains GLA.
How to Take It
The average diet provides sufficient omega 6 fatty acids, so supplementation is typically not necessary unless you’re treating a selected condition, such as:
- Breast tenderness (mastalgia)
The dose and sort of omega 6 fatty acids to be supplemented depends on many factors, including:
The condition being treated
Other medications and supplements getting used
Speak to your doctor to work out what form and what dose of omega 6 fatty acids are most appropriate for you.
Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you ought to take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
DO NOT take omega 6 fatty acids if you’ve got a seizure disorder because there are reports of those supplements causing seizures. Several reports describe seizures in people taking EPO. A number of these seizures developed in people with a previous seizure disorder, or in people taking EPO together with anesthetics. People that decide to undergo surgery requiring anesthesia should stop taking EPO 2 weeks before time.
Borage seed oil, and possibly other sources of GLA, shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy because they’ll harm the fetus and induce early labor.
Avoid doses of GLA greater than 3,000 mg per day. At that level, a rise in inflammation may occur.
Side effects of EPO can include occasional headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and loose stools. In animal studies, GLA is reported to decrease vital sign . Early leads to human studies don’t show consistent changes in vital sign .
Laboratory studies suggest that omega 6 fatty acids, like the fats found in vegetable oil , promote the expansion of prostate tumor cells. Until more research is completed , health professionals recommend not taking omega-6 fatty acids, including GLA, if you’re in danger of or have prostatic adenocarcinoma .
If you’re currently being treated with any of the subsequent medications, you ought to not use omega-6 supplements without lecture your health care provider first.
Blood-thinning medications: People taking blood thinners, including warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidogrel (Plavix), shouldn’t take omega 6 fatty acid supplements without a doctor’s supervision. Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids may increase the danger of bleeding.
Ceftazidime: GLA may increase the effectiveness of ceftazidime. Ceftazidime, an antibiotic, is employed against a spread of bacterial infections.
Chemotherapy for cancer: GLA may increase the consequences of anti-cancer treatments, like doxorubicin, cisplatin, carboplatin, idarubicin, mitoxantrone, tamoxifen, vincristine, and vinblastine.
Cyclosporine: Cyclosporine may be a medication wont to suppress the system after organ transplantation. Taking omega 6 fatty acids with cyclosporine may increase the immunosuppressive effects of this medication. It’s going to also protect against kidney damage, which may be a potential side effect from cyclosporine.
Phenothiazines: People taking a category of medicines called phenothiazines to treat schizophrenia shouldn’t take EPO. EPO may interact with these medications and increase the danger of seizures. an equivalent could also be true for other omega 6 supplements. These medications include:
- Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
- Fluphenazine (Stelazine)
- Perphenazine (Trilafon)
- Promethazine (Compazine)
- Thioridazine (Mellaril)