What are omega-6 fats, functions and health benefits


The fatty acids known as Omega 6 are an example of acids considered basic with abundant physiological effects optimal for health, since it can be used to improve the inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis and the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. So, Omega 6 fatty acids are essential for the proper functioning of our body , since they participate and intervene in a wide variety of functions.

Like Omega 3, they are fatty acids unsaturated And what does it mean that a fatty acid is unsaturated? Basically it means that it has in its molecule double bond between its carbon atoms. That is, they have double bonds in their chains, counting on the first double bond in the carbon located in position 6.

What is the omega 6 fatty acid?

Omega 6 fatty acid is a type of polyunsaturated fat, also known by the name of essential linoleic acid or arachidonic . From a chemical point of view, they are ω-6 fatty acids, which means that they have double bonds in their chains. Therefore, they are also considered as unsaturated fats.

While ω-3 fatty acids have their first double bond in carbon 3, and ω-9 in carbon 9, ω-6 or omega 6 fatty acids have them in carbon 6.

It is considered a type of essential fatty acid , fundamentally because our organism is not capable of producing it by itself, which means that the only way to provide it is through diet ; specifically, from the consumption of foods that contain it.

As we already knew in the article dedicated to Foods rich in omega 6 , the truth is that we find this type of fat especially in vegetable oils . In fact, unlike omega 3 (which we do find in foods of animal origin, such as fish), the main sources of omega 6 fatty acids are specifically vegetable.

Main functions of the omega-6

The main functions of omega 6

The omega 6 fatty acids are essential for the proper functioning of our body. Among other important functions, omega-6 fats play an important role as important in the protection, structure and regulation of cells .

They promote an adequate and correct immune response by our immune system, being essential -for example- in the response of our body to inflammation.

But their functions do not remain here, since they also contribute and participate in the correct balance of the profile of fats in the blood (also known medically as lipid profile), and also help to regulate the metabolism and the coagulation of the blood.

In summary, below we can summarize briefly what are the main functional of omega-6 fatty acids:

  • The formation of cell membranes.
  • The formation of hormones
  • The functioning of the immune system, neuronal and chemical transmissions.

Benefits of the most important omega 6

The omega 6 fatty acid gives us much more than the correct functionality of the organism, due to the ingestion of omega 6 gives us a series of benefits, among them is:

  • It contains healthy properties for the circulatory system: lowers triglycerides, reduces cholesterol, protects against angina pectoris and prevents diseases such as arrhythmias.
  • It can be used for those people who suffer a constant hair loss, because it is related to a lack of blood flow in the hair follicle.
  • It is highly recommended for women, as it helps to reduce premenstrual symptoms , it is usually used in evening primrose oil tablets.
  • It is accepted for the treatment against diabetes because it helps maintain balanced insulin levels and prevents the side effects of the disease.
  • Advised for the problems of impotence in men , because it helps improve circulation.

Therefore, there is no doubt that omega 6 is an extremely healthy fatty acid for our body, thanks to the fact that it helps positively when it comes to reducing high levels of cholesterol in the blood. For this reason, it is advisable to consume supplements rich in omega 6 in case of high cholesterol.

Sources of omega-6

Where do we find omega 6?

Fundamentally we find omega-6 fatty acids in foods of vegetable origin. Especially, they highlight vegetable oils of seeds such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil and olive oil (especially extra virgin olive oil, because it is much healthier).

In addition, we also find omega 6 in nuts (such as nuts, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and cashews), fruits such as avocados, and in foods of animal origin such as tuna (provided it has been enriched in vegetable oils), as well as cod liver oil.

More information | Botanical

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