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Omega 3, 6, and 9: essential fatty acids and supplements.

8/17 9:04:31

Question
Hello,

I recently discovered the benefits of adding Omega 3 along with 6 and 9 to one's diet. I rarely eat fish [etc] so I bought a supplement instead. However, I am not sure "how much" I should take of Omega 3,6,9. Do you have any information on this?

I am taking "Good N Natural Omega 3,6,9 (Flax, Fish, and Borage Oils)" Supplement. With each softgels I am taking (according to the back):

1) Organic Flazseed Oil (400mg)
2) Borage Seed Oil (400mg)
3) Fish Oil (50% Omega-3) (400mg)
   "These three oils typically provide the following Fatty Acid Profiles":
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (420mg)
   -ALA (220mg)
   -EPA (120mg)
   -DHA (80mg)
Omega 6 Fatty Acids (268mg)
   - Linoieic Acid (180mg)
   - Gamma-Linoienic Acid [GLA] (88mg)
Omega 9 (152mg).

The Supplement suggest I take 1 Softgels 3 times a day. Should I? I am 18 years old and healthy if that makes a difference.

Thanks.

Answer
Ray,

There's no RDA for fats and fatty acids, they have AI (Acceptable Intake) instead. The AI for Omega 3 is 1.6 grams a day for men and 1.1 for women. Unlike Omega 3 and Omega 6, Omega 9 is not an essential fatty acid because it the human body creates it from unsaturated fat.

More importantly, there should be a certain balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 because they have different functions in the body.

For example, Omega 6 is converted by the body into pro-inflammatory agents. On the other hand, Omega 3 fats have many opposing effects including the anti-inflammatory. Balanced ratio is believed to less than 1:4 while in the typical American diet, Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is 1:10.

The matter is, when our ancestors hunted wild game and had free-range cattle, the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio used to be about 1:1 or 1:2. Now, in our regular (not in grass-fed beef), it is estimated above 1:20 so when you add even more Omega 6 with the supplement it just doesn't make sense, at least to me.

Now, if the only reason to take the supplement is your dislike of fish, consider other sources.

Sources of Omega 3 other than fish

Omega 3 eggs
Flax-fed chicken
Flax-enriched bread
Free-range lamb
Organic diary

Choose oils with good Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratios: canola 1:2, soybean 1:7, flax 3:1

Corn oil is very bad in this respect, its ratio is 1:46!

Tanya Zilberter
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