Omega-6 Fatty Acid Linoleic Acid: Information
Omega-6 ( linoleic acid) is one of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in human nutrition. Omega-3 or linolenic acid is the other type. EFAs are essential nutrients, just like vitamins and minerals. Both omega-6 and omega-3 are used throughout the body in many ways and are crucial to good health. Obtaining the right balance of omega-6 and omega-3 is just as important as obtaining enough.
Omega-6 Linoleic Acid: Health Benefits
Most people don't need to supplement Omega-6 EFAs since they're already prevalent in the diet from vegetable oils, dairy, and animal fats. Omega-6 supplements may be important, however, for people on very low-fat diets. A lack or an imbalance of EFAs in the diet can lead to health problems that can be difficult to rectify until the proper balance is restored. Additionally, EFAs are co-factors for the metabolism of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Omega 6 - GLA
A small portion of dietary omega-6 is converted into a beneficial fatty acid known as gamma linoleic acid or GLA. GLA has regulating effects on the immune response and inflammation. Studies suggest it may be helpful for certain types of immune system problems when used under a doctor's supervision. GLA may also be responsible for the benefits some women obtain from evening primrose oil for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
Our capacity to synthesize GLA is limited and variable. Although most dietary oils supply a lot of linoleic acid, GLA is usually only present in small amounts. Borage oil, evening primrose oil, and black currant oil are used as supplements for their high amounts of naturally-occurring GLA.
Using Omega-6 Supplements
Follow manufacturer's directions.
Side-effects and Cautions:
Consult a doctor or pharmacist before combining an EFA supplement with your medication.