Omega-6 fatty acids


Omega-6 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that have a final carbon-carbon double bond in the n-6 position, that is, the sixth bond, counting from the methyl end.

Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are essential for the body’s normal functioning. 

They are essentia because our bodies cannot produce them on their own, so we need to obtain them through our diet.

Some common omega-6 fatty acids include linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA). 

These fatty acids play important roles in various bodily functions, including cell growth, brain development, hormone production, and regulation of inflammation.

A balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is required.

Both types of fatty acids compete for the same enzymes.

The Western diet often contains higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared to omega-3s.

Some studies suggest an abnormal balance may contribute to inflammation and certain chronic diseases.

It is generally recommended to consume omega-6 fatty acids in moderation and have a balanced intake of both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Good sources of omega-6 fatty acids: include vegetable oils (such as soybean, corn, and sunflower oil), nuts, seeds, and some grains.

The American Heart Association recommends omega-6 PUFA intake of at least 5% to 10% of energy.

An increased intake of omega‐6 fatty acids has been shown to reduce total serum cholesterol and may reduce myocardial infarction, but is found not to significantly  change in LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

A 2021 review found that omega-6 supplements do not affect the risk of CVD morbidity and mortality.

A 2023 review found that omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with lower risk of high blood pressure.

Dietary sources:




hulled sesame seeds



whole-grain breads

pumpkin seeds

hemp seeds

Vegetable oils are a major source of omega-6 linoleic acid. 

Linoleic acid, a common omega-6 fatty acid found in many nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.

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