What happens on a high omega-6 diet

A while back I wrote a review of Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3s Were Removed from the Western Diet and What We Can Do about Them. Susan Allport’s book goes into the history of how omega-3s were discovered and what they’ll mean for us in the future.

A controversial topic of the book is how omega-6 (king) and omega-3 (queen) compete for space in eicosanoid pathways. The omega-6s, the king, are the greater competitor and more inflammatory, while the omega-3, the queen, are a lesser competitor and less inflammatory.

She goes on about this relationship between omega-6 and omega-3 and gives examples from nature of how both the oils are found and used — omega-3s in leaves (leaf fats), omega-6s in seeds (seed fats); omega-3s eaten more often in summer months, omega-6s in winter months by animals. The omega-6s are thought to bring on extra fat for warmth, for storage, for hibernation.

It’s all pretty interesting stuff. And again, as I said, a bit controversial.

Now, in a new article, Susan gives a single-person account — herself — of results one gets from eating a high omega-6 diet for one month. I mean, we’re not talking about a randomized, clinical trial. But nevertheless, her results are particularly interesting:

– reduced RMR
– omega-3 drop in blood (10% to 6%)
– omega-6 rise from 21% to 29%

– brachial artery dilation drop by 22%
– gain of 5 pounds

You can read more about her small experiment here. In the meantime, I’m popping my fish oil pills.

Published by David Despain, MS, CFS

David is a science and health writer living on Long Island, New York. He's written for a variety of publications including Scientific American, Outside Online, the American Society for Nutrition's (ASN) Nutrition Notes Daily, and Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Technology magazine and Live! blog. He's also covered new findings reported at scientific meetings including Experimental Biology, AAAS, AOCS, CASW, Sigma Xi, IFT, and others on his personal blog "Evolving Health." David is also an active member of organizations including the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the National Audubon Society. David has a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and a bachelor's degree in English from University of Illinois at Springfield. He also earned his Certified Food Scientist credential from the Institute of Food Technologists.

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