The Full Story Behind Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-6 fatty acids are among those fatty acids called “essential” to the body. This is because they are required for health, but can’t be synthesized by the body from anything that might be in the diet. Instead, omega-6 fatty acids have to be consumed whole from particular foods
Foods high in omega-6 fatty acids include:
— Olive oil
— Organic, grass-fed beef
— Various fresh vegetables and fruits
The association of omega-6 fatty acids with certain fish is a large part of the reason why fish is considered a “brain food.” Omega-6 fatty acid is strongly associated with healthy cognitive functioning, especially as a person ages.
It is believed that omega-6 fatty acids help the connections in the brain — the neurons — to fire electrical impulses more quickly and “smoothly” than they would otherwise. A diet high in omga-6 fatty acid may help to stave off dementia in some elders.
Omega-6 fatty acids generally work hand in hand with omega-3 fatty acids, which are also essential fatty acids. Both of these essential fatty acids are found in high concentrations in Greek and Italian diets.
Do Omega-6 Fatty Acids Promote Inflammation?
If inflammation is out of control within the body, it can be a precursor to some very serious health issues. Inflammation is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and much more. It is believed that stress and related stress hormones can promote inflammation.
While it is true that omega-6 fatty acids can promote inflammation, it is also the case that many foods high in omega-6 fatty acids also have omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. When foods provide a healthy balance of these acids, the inflammation effect should be minimal.
Some forms of omega-6 fatty acids can also be used to control nerve pain in people suffering from diabetes and other chronic disorders, so these acids can help promote good health and secure quality of life.