Disease Proof

Essential Fatty Acids

The two primary essential fatty acids are linoleic acid, an omega-6 fat, and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat. The body can make other fatty acids, called nonessential fats, from these two basic fats. Linoleic acid’s first double bond is at the location of its sixth carbon, so it is called an omega-6 fatty acid, and alpha-linolenic acid’s first double bond is on its third carbon, so it is called an omega-3 fatty acid.


Optimal health depends on the proper balance of fatty acids in the diet. The modern diet that most of us eat supplies an excessive amount of omega-6 fat, but often too little omega-3 fat. This relative deficiency of omega-3 fats has potentially serious implications. Also, the consumption of too much omega-6 fat leads to high levels of arachidonic acid (AA). Higher levels of arachidonic acid can promote inflammation.
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