Omega-6 fatty acid

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The chemical structure of linoleic acid, a common omega-6 fatty acid found in many nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.

Omega-6 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Some medical research notes that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids from seed oils may increase the chance for a number of diseases.[1] However, having non-rancid nuts, which are high in omega-6, is associated with lower risk for some diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, stroke, heart attacks and certain cancers.[2]

Modern Western diets often have ratios of omega-6 to omega 3 higher than 10. Some are as high as 30. The normal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the Western diet is 15–16.7, mainly from vegetable oils.[3]

Dietary sources[change | change source]

The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produces an oil containing a high content of γ-linolenic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid.

Vegetable oils are a major source of omega-6 linoleic acid. Worldwide, more than 100 million metric tons of vegetable oils are extracted annually from palm fruits, soybean seeds, rape seeds, and sunflower seeds, providing more than 32 million metric tons of omega-6 linoleic acid and 4 million metric tons of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid.[4][5]

Dietary sources of omega-6 fatty acids include:

References[change | change source]

  1. Hibbeln, Joseph R.; Nieminen, Levi RG; Blasbalg, Tanya L.; Riggs, Jessica A.; Lands, William EM (June 2006). "Healthy Intakes of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 83 (6): 1483S–1493S. doi:10.1093/ajcn/83.6.1483S. PMID 16841858. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  2. Aune, D.; Keum, N.; Giovannucci, E.; Fadnes, L. T.; Boffetta, P.; Greenwood, D. C.; Tonstad, S.; Vatten, L. J.; Riboli, E.; Norat, T. (2016). "Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease". BMC Medicine. 14 (1): 207. doi:10.1186/s12916-016-0730-3. PMC 5137221. PMID 27916000.
  3. "The Evolutionary Aspects of Diet" (PDF). Science Direct. Retrieved May 14, 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. Gunstone, Frank (December 2007). "Market update: Palm oil". International News on Fats, Oils and Related Materials. 18 (12): 835–36. Archived from the original on 2013-04-03.
  5. January 2009 (PDF). Oilseeds: World Market and Trade. Vol. FOP 1-09. USDA. 2009-01-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-09. Retrieved 2019-08-09., Table 03: Major Vegetable Oils: World Supply and Distribution at Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade Monthly Circular Archived 2010-10-18 at the Wayback Machine