Supplements of Omega 3 and Omega 6


Supplements of Omega 3 and Omega 6

Among the various lipids of nutritional interest, two deserve special attention. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids, respectively called linoleic acid or LA (18:2) and alpha-linolenic acid or ALA (18:3). These fatty acids are called essential because, given the inability of the organism to synthesize them, must compulsorily be introduced with the diet.

Can be recruited through food, these two nutrients are converted by an enzyme in other polyunsaturated fatty acids. In particular, the linoleic acid is the parent fatty acid of the omega-6 series, while starting from alpha-linolenic acid are obtained analogues of the omega-3 series.

A curiosity: the term "omega-6" and "omega-3" refers to the position of the first double bond relative to the portion methyl (terminal) of the molecule, it is not coincidence that in their nomenclature within the omega symbol, which represents the last letter of the greek. So in omega-6 the first double bond is between the sixth and seventh carbon atom from the methyl group; in omega-3, however, between the third and the fourth carbon, always starting from the methyl end.

Good sources of omega-6 oils are seeds, nuts and legumes.

The best food sources of omega-3 are fish from cold seas, the oil and flaxseed.

The body's ability to synthesize derivatives omega-6 and omega-3, like many other biological functions, tends to decline with age. It 'also important to remember that omega-6 and omega-3 compete for the use of enzymes involved in their desaturation (desaturase) as common to both pathways. As a result, an excessive intake of omega-6 can affect the formation of omega-3 starting from alpha-linolenic acid, and vice versa. Not surprisingly, in the typical diet in Western countries, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio is 10:1, while, to be perfect, it should be 6:1. To balance this relationship is vital to increase the consumption of fish, especially the blue and the species that inhabit the seas of the north.

The levels and the balance of the two series of fatty acids are important for the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory and immune disorders.

The lack of these acids also produces fatigue, dry hair and skin, immune deficiency ... Functions of omega-6 and omega-3

The Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids lower serum cholesterol, reducing the plasma levels of LDL ("bad" cholesterol). This benefit, however, is partly mitigated by the fact that the same omega-6 fatty acids also reduce the "good" cholesterol HDL.

The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids lower the plasma levels of triglycerides, interfering with their incorporation in the liver in VLDL. For this reason, have an important antithrombotic action (remember, in fact, that high levels of triglycerides in the blood reduces the process of fibrinolysis, deputy to the dissolution of clots intravasali, which is why hypertriglyceridemia is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease) .

In particular Omega 3:

Avoid the accumulation of fat more dangerous, triglycerides and cholesterol on the artery walls, blocking the hardening of blood vessels.
Protect the cardiovascular system: blood, made more fluid by the absence of bad fats, circulates better, making the heart work properly and eliminating the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, atherosclerosis and thrombosis.
Attenuate inflammatory reactions such as, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Promote the vitality of the cells of the central nervous system, with functions antidepressant
Boost the immune system and strengthen the skin's defenses
Useful in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
Adjuvants in the treatment of psoriasis and other skin diseases.
Acting on the microcirculation (useful for cellulite and edema).
Hormone production.
Facilitation in the immune response and anti-inflammatory in case of wounds and infections.

All this explains why every day, through TV and newspapers, doctors and nutritionists stress the importance of regular consumption of foods rich in omega-three (fish and flaxseed), in order to monitor blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and, together with them, the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Here is a list of examples of omega 3 and omega 6 content in foods



100 g of salmon, mackerel, fresh or canned in brine
100 g fresh or smoked herring 2.2 g -

10 grams of oil Corn - 5 g
10 grams of sesame seed oil - 4.5 g
10 grams of soybean oil 0.8 g 5 g
10 g of sunflower seed oil - 6 g
10 g of oil of linseed or 40 grams of linseed 5.8 g 1.4 g
10 g of wheat germ oil 0.5 g 5 g
10 g of olive oil - 1 g

20 grams of walnuts (5 walnuts average) 1.32 g 5 g
10 grams of peanuts, pistachios or almonds - 1 g

100 grams of canned chickpeas - 2 g

Supplements of Omega 3 and Omega 6