Gamma-Linolenic Acid – The Beneficial Omega 6

Omega 3 vs Omega 6

The Omega essential fatty acids are essential nutrients that the body cannot produce itself and must be received from the diet or supplements.

Of all the Omega’s, Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s tend to be most abundant in food with the greatest impact on health. Omega 3’s are well known for their anti-inflammatory effects as they produce anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. Conversely, most Omega 6’s produce inflammatory compounds.

In modern diets, there is a vast abundance of Omega 6 essential fatty acids and a deficiency of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Meaning there is a greater number of inflammatory compounds being created from Omega 6’s vs the anti-inflammatory compounds from Omega 3’s. As such, reducing Omega 6s and increasing Omega 3’s has been a major focus for reducing inflammation overall.

GLA – The Anti-Inflammatory Omega 6

Although most Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s can be divided into pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory respectively, there is one exception.

The Omega 6 Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) also leads to anti-inflammatory effects which may help reduce pain alongside supporting skin, eye, joint and heart health.

This is due to GLA producing anti-inflammatory compounds in the body similar to the Omega 3’s. In contrast, the main Omega 6, Arachidonic Acid (AA) produces inflammatory substances. GLA competes with AA for the same enzymes, therefore reducing the production of inflammatory compounds and increasing the creation of anti-inflammatory compounds such as Prostaglandin series 1 (PGE1) and Thromboxane A1.

The combination of Omega 3’s and GLA can further offer a synergistic combination to help support anti-inflammatory actions in the body. Find out more and view the Nordic Naturals range here.

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