Information on Omega-6 Fatty Acids

There are two types of essential fatty acids (EFAs) that people need to consume to stay healthy:- Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. Both are considered "essential" because the body can't produce them on its own; it can only get them through foods.

Omega-6 (along with omega-3) belongs to a family of fats called essential fatty acids. Members of the omega-6 fat family, found in plants, meat and dairy products, contain essential fatty acids (EFAs) that, like those in the omega-3 family, are essential for growth and health.

The optimum balance of EFAs in your body is twice as much omega-6 fats as omega-3.

Omega-6 Oils Supplements

Evening primrose oil is a popular supplement and capsules containing 500-1000mg are widely taken. It is thought to be safe to take up to 5g daily. For best absorption, take at mealtimes with vitamin E.

Deficiency Symptoms of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Health Benefits of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

  1. Beneficial for arthritis- Reduce pain and inflammation: Evening primrose oil (rich source of omega-6 oils), when taken with fish oils is particularly effective in reducing the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.
  2. Reduce the symptoms of eczema: Evening primrose oil is now available on prescription to treat eczema because it helps to reduce itching and inflammation, and encourages healing.
  3. Relieve symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual syndrome): Evening primrose oil may reduce symtoms of bloating, water retention, irritability and depression, which are common symptoms of PMS and the menopause.
  4. Alleviate alcohol withdrawal symptoms: Evening primrose oil can relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and improve brain and liver function.
  5. Obesity: Certain types of omega-6 fats may encourage your body to convert fat into energy, therefore helping you to lose weight.

Sources of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

1-2 tablespoons of the following as oils, or 2-3 tablespoons of ground seeds, daily is considered optimal intake:

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