Dietary sources of omega–6 fatty acids include: poultry and eggs.
- Omega-6 fatty acids are types of fats. Some types are found in vegetable oils, including corn, evening primrose seed, safflower, and soybean oils. Other types of omega-6 fatty acids are found in black currant seed, borage seed, and evening primrose oils.
- Omega-6 fatty acids are used for many conditions, but so far, the best information that science can provide is that putting arachidonic acid, a particular omega-6 fatty acid, doesn’t improve infant development. Not enough research has been done on omega-6 fatty acids to judge whether or not they are effective for other uses.
- Omega-6 fatty acids are used for reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering total cholesterol levels, lowering “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels, raising “good” (HDL)cholesterol levels, and reducing cancer risk.
- Most of the information we have on omega-6 fatty acid supplements comes from studying specific omega-6 fatty acids or plant oils containing omega-6 fatty acids. See the separate listing for evening primrose oil.
1. Helps Reduce Nerve Pain
Studies show that taking gamma linolenic acid (GLA) — a type of omega-6 fatty acid — for a period of six months or more may reduce symptoms of nerve pain in people with diabetic neuropathy. People who have normal blood sugar control may find GLA more effective than those with poor blood sugar control, and GLA in primrose oil has been found to be helpful. Two trials studied GLA and its effects, demonstrating positive results on nerve pain after one year of treatment.
2. Fights Inflammation
We know inflammation negatively affects our health and can exacerbate and even cause disease. In fact, most chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, are highly inflammatory. Because of this, the link between how we eat and disease is critical.
Eating healthy fats like PUFAs generally have a positive effect on health. These fats found in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can play significant role in health and disease. GLA is produced in the body from linoleic acid, which I’ve noted is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. GLA is further metabolized to DGLA, which makes it an anti-inflammatory nutrient.
3. Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis
Evening primrose oil or primrose comes from the seeds of a Native American wildflower, containing 7 percent to 10 percent GLA. Preliminary evidence suggests that primrose may reduce pain, swelling and morning stiffness. While it likely takes one to six months to notice the effects, it may not go so far as to stop the progression of the disease, which means joint damage would still occur.
However, to treat rheumatoid arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation suggests that you take 540 milligrams daily of primose to 2.8 grams daily in divided doses, but check with your doctor first.
4. May Help Reduce Symptoms of ADHD
A study out of Sweden focused on assessing the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in subjects with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study included a total of six months of testing with 75 children and adolescents (8–18 years old). While a majority did not respond to omega-3 and omega-6 treatment, a subgroup of 26 percent responded with more than a 25 percent reduction of ADHD symptoms. After six months, 47 percent showed improvement in symptoms.
- High triglycerides: Omega-6 fatty acids can raise triglyceride levels. Do not use omega-6 fatty acids if your triglycerides are too high.
No information, please consult your doctor.
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Source: WebMD, “Omega 6 fatty acids”, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/