The Omega 6 and the Omega 3 – The Yin and Yang of Inflammation

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Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Pro Inflammatory

Prone to oxidation when in excess, generating free radicals that can destructive to health

Needed for Immune responsive bioactive signaling molecules

Increases LDL (bad cholesterol)

In the presence of high levels of insulin, inflammation is rapidly accelerated

Cheapest form of calories

Veg. Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil

Associated with AA (Arachidonic Acid) blood markers

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Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Anti Inflammatory

Works to decrease oxidation and free radicals

Needed to prevent excess and chronic inflammation

Increases HDL (good cholesterol)

Helps turn the inflammation switch off

Fish, Fish Oils, Marine Algea, Olive oil

Need 2.5 grams in ADDITION to diet per day

Associated with EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) blood markers

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_divider][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The inflammatory process has two parts to the process.

Part one – when inflammation actually happens. It’s a response to an injury, a foreign body such as an allergy, virus, bacteria, ect. It is important because if drives our white blood cells to these areas of vulnerability to attack and protect our body. It is part of our immune response.

Part two – the resolution phase. This is when our body goes back to its normal state. It is important because chronic inflammation is highly related to chronic diseases, poor recovery and obesity.

These two phases work together simultaneously and when they are out of sync, we find ourselves in a metabolic disaster with a increase in vulnerability to illness and significant decrease in longevity of our lives.

Above is a comparison of Omega 6 and omega 3. We have been talking so much about preventing diet induced inflammation that maybe some of you may be questioning the role and benefits of the Omega 6, and why we recommend to supplement of Omega 3 and not the Omega 6 when we just said you need both.

Here are a few things to consider.

Everything must be maintained in the right balance to optimize ourselves in a “zone” and maintain a healthy inflammatory response.

Today’s traditional diet does not only promote excess inflammation due to the high amounts of unfavorable carbs, but it is very rich in Omega 6 and very low in Omega 3.  We are essentially promoting an over reactive inflammatory response without the ability to turn it off because we lack Omega 3 in our diet. If we completely eliminated Omega 6 we would be robbing ourselves the ability to fight off microbes and heal injuries.

We don’t necessarily need to eliminate all sources of Omega 6, our diet has plenty of it, but we do need to try harder to increase our Omega 3 intake, which is why we recommend taking an Omega 3 supplement with your diet.

What is AA:EPA ratio?

This is a blood marker that measures control of cellular inflammation. The lower the AA:EPA ratio the less cellular inflammation you are likely to have in your body. Dr. Barry Sears, founder of the Zone diet, states that a ratio reflecting 1.5-3 means that you are in the zone.

AA (arachinodonic acid), omega 6, is a driver of cellular inflammation; it is one of the main culprits for diet induced inflammation. Omega 6 in the company of high insulin accelerates the conversion of AA. Remember, we do need some Omega 6 to fight off microbes and heal from injury, just not in excess.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), omega 3, works to turn off the inflammatory response bring our body back to a “normal or resting” state.

As stated above, the lower the AA:EPA ratio, the less cellular inflammation you are likely to have in your body. It is recommended to add an additional 2.5 grams of Omega 3 to your diet. A healthy balance of each will look different from one person to the next. This focuses on the ratio, not a set amount per day necessarily. So think of it as a see-saw, if one goes up, the other should go down. So adding more Omega 3 supplement to our diet is already going to improve our AA:EPA ratio.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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