Omega 3 and Omega 6 are both essential fatty acids, and cannot be made on our own, so we must obtain from our diet. Omega 3 would be from cold water fish (salmon, sardines, black cod) and from leafy greens, walnuts, flax seeds.....just to mention a few. both sources are teh building blocks for hormones that control immune function, blood clotting and cell growth
On the other hand omega-6 fatty acids are found everywhere, especially if you start your day with a pop tart, have lunch at McDonalds, and then have some cookies and icecream for a snack! Omega 6 are also found in whole, real foods--like many types of nuts. But the junk food is loaded with it mostly because of refined vegetable oils, and soy products.
The body also constructs hormones from omega 6 fatty acids. In general, hormones derived from the two classes of essential fatty acids have opposite effects. Those from omega-6 fatty acids tend to increase inflammation (an important component of the immune response), blood clotting, and cell proliferation, while those from omega-3 fatty acids decrease those functions. Both families of hormones must be in balance to maintain optimum health.
Many nutrition experts believe that before we relied so heavily on processed foods, humans consumed omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in roughly equal amounts. But to our great detriment, most North Americans and Europeans now get far too much of the omega-6s and not enough of the omega-3s. This dietary imbalance may explain the rise of such diseases as asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body. The imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may also contribute to obesity, depression, dyslexia, hyperactivity and even a tendency toward violence. Bringing the fats into proper proportion may actually relieve those conditions, according to Joseph Hibbeln, M.D., a psychiatrist at the National Institutes of Health, and perhaps the world's leading authority on the relationship between fat consumption and mental health.
On a personal level, and a very basic approach to the effect of 'inflammation': My husband has horrible arthritis, and has had since he was in his 20's. He has had a knee replacement and Hip replacement....He is no stranger to pain of joints. When he watches his Omega 6 intake, and ups his Omega 3's you can see a huge difference, when he first started he went from walking slightly stooped over to walking upright and a little quicker. Within 4 weeks he has stopped taking his 12 Tylenol and 6 Motrin EVERY day, He now only takes Motrin every 5 or 6 days when needed. He also no longer has sinus issues like he used to.....This was not from Primal, the only changes we made at the time were upping Omega 3 foods, and watching Omega 6 intake...this was pre-primal.
Hope that helps a little. Inflammation is commonly thought of as swelling of the joints, and it IS that, but it is also so much more!
Started PB Aug 9, 2010 then let 'stuff' get in the way
Back to start and make a fantastic 2012
Goal of Significant Weight Loss
15 pounds down! with more to go!