Omega-3 and 6 and the Cardiovascular System / Omega-3 and Omega-6 Balance

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Achieving the ideal balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 contributes to optimal cardiovascular health, cognitive well-being, and other vital physiological functions. So, what’s the difference between these fatty acids, and what does a balanced ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 look like?

What are fatty acids?

They are compounds composed of long chains of carbon atoms attached to two hydrogen atoms with a carboxylic acid (-COOH) at the end. There are various categories of fatty acids and different ways to classify them.

What’s with the numbers?

Simply put, it’s a fancy scientific way to determine the location of the first double bond in the sequence. This arrangement of double bonds gives fatty acids their unique, magical hue (and names). There are different types, including omega-3, -6, and -9, classified by the location of the first double bond.

The main types:

  • Omega-3: Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
  • Omega-6: Linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

Of these, by definition, ALA and LA are the only “essential” fatty acids, meaning the body cannot produce them endogenously, and we must consume them regularly. However, the body can synthesize longer-chain fatty acids (i.e., EPA, DHA, and GLA) from ALA and LA, but we’ll talk a bit about this process and its efficiency (hint: it’s lacking).

Key benefits of Omega-3:

Omega-3s are beneficial for the heart, but research shows these fats do more—they also support your brain, mood, vision, immune system, and bones. When it comes to cardiovascular health, Omega-3s do it all:

  • Promote proper circulation,
  • Help regulate heart rate,
  • Improve endothelial function,
  • Support a healthy level of triglycerides.

Consuming at least 800 mg of EPA and DHA (for example, in combination with a high-quality fish oil supplement) can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease.

But the exceptional benefits don’t stop there—Omega-3s also bolster cognitive function and overall brain health. Marine Omega-3s (especially DHA) have been shown to support working memory, mental sharpness, our ability to learn, and even longevity.

Key benefits of Omega-6:

Omega-6s are essential fatty acids (reminder: meaning the body cannot produce them independently) used for various purposes throughout the body. Primarily, they help regulate cholesterol levels (compared to saturated fatty acids) and possess some anti-inflammatory properties.

Omega-6s support heart health, cholesterol levels, helping regulate blood sugar, and play a vital role in our immune system as they fuel essential healing pathways.

Main differences between them:

While Omega-3 and Omega-6 are both polyunsaturated fatty acids and crucial for many physiological functions, these two fats differ in their structure, sources, and properties.

Omega-3s are largely considered anti-inflammatory (in terms of their properties and actions), while Omega-6s act as building blocks for protein compounds that are an important protective mechanism used for our rejuvenation.

How to achieve the ideal Omega balance:

Marine Omega-3s are found in fatty fish, but they can also be found in seaweed, shellfish. While fatty fish have higher Omega-3 content, all these sources provide EPA and DHA. Other sources of Omega-3s include nuts and seeds, such as hemp seeds and flaxseed, which provide ALA. Similarly, Omega-6s are most commonly found in vegetable oils.

Choosing an Omega supplement:

The truth is, Russians aren’t meeting the basic needs of two servings of fatty fish per week, as recommended by experts. The recommended daily intake of Omega-3 ranges from 250 to 500 milligrams (equivalent to consuming one to two servings of fatty fish per week); most adults only get 86 milligrams per day.

If you’re not including salmon, anchovies, tuna, herring, mackerel, and other fatty fish in your weekly diet, an Omega supplement can help correct the deficiency. It’s highly beneficial to take comprehensive supplements – DPA+DHA+EPA Omega-3 fatty acids or DHA and EPA with vitamin E from ORIHIRO company. Targeted, effective doses of these supplements are the best way to achieve healthy Omega levels today and in your future.

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