Around Our Town...To Your Health
03/01/2005 - More Omega Info
In my last article I touched on the effects of Omega 6 Trans fatty acids and their effects on our immune system. I would like to expand upon this because of the important role of Omega 6 and Omega 3 Trans fatty acids.
Our body is always attempting to maintain a state of balance, such as our blood chemistry, muscles, skeletal system, and nervous system. If there comes a time when imbalance occurrs there will be negative effects to the body. This holds true with Omega 6 and Omega 3 Trans fatty acids. These fatty acids play a key role in the production of prostaglandins. (They are called prostaglandins because they were first extracted out of the prostate gland). We produce three prostaglandins, PG1, PG2, and PG3. PG1 and PG3 are considered the good prostaglandins and PG2 is considered the bad, but all three are needed by our bodies and need to stay balanced. (Important)
Omega 6 Trans fatty acids are involved in production of PG1 and PG2. Omega 3 is involved in the production of PG3. So as you can see, a balance is needed. Our consumption of the Trans fatty acids is going to affect this balance, and if you don't think this is happening to you, check your health screenings or your medications. Some abnormalities can be a result of this imbalance causing a need for medication. The ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is about 1 to 1; The average American diet is 30 to 1 (WOW!). Now you are probably wondering what is considered Omega 6 and Omega 3. The cooking oils (corn, sunflower, safflower, peanut, soy, and canola) and natural oils (evening primrose, borage oil, and black currant seed oil) are Omega 6. The Omega 3s are flax, hemp, walnut, and fish oils.
The natural oils of Omega 6 are involved in the production of PG1, which is anti-inflammatory (GOOD). The cooking oils are converted to PG2, which is inflammatory (BAD). All of the Omega 3s produce PG3 which is anti-inflammatory (EXCELLENT). You can now see the importance of maintaining the balance between the two.
I would like to touch on the negative effects of too much production of PG2. Overproduction of PG2 will cause Fibrosis, Pain, Degenerative Joint Disease, Vascular Disease, Immune System Dysfunction, and the #2 cause of Free Radical Production. It is important to restructure our thinking concerning the foods we consume because of the devastating effects that may eventually occur to our body. In my practice I see these effects and would advise parents to start changing their child's dietary habits so that they can head off future problems. In the upcoming issues I will discuss more of the above information and hopefullly we can help you stay healthy.