Is The Omega 3/6 Ratio Perception or Reality?
There’s an excellent report from Food Insight about the legitimacy of health claims made about the Omega6/Omega 3 fatty acid ratio. You have to download the PDF at the link.
There are a lot of graphs/statistics, but it’s excellent if you can slog through it. Highly recommended.
Lots of pundits attribute great importance to the ratio, claiming that it’s the basis of many other health problems.
According to the latter report, all those claims are a crock.
Problems With the Omega3/6 Ratio
Most clinical studies suggest Omega 6 consumption in moderate quantities is good for you, and focusing on the Omega6/3 ratio has the following problems:
1). It says nothing about the absolute intake of either….which is also very important.
2). It doesn’t differentiate between the different types of N-6 and N-3….there are more than one of each.
3). It doesn’t clarify whether it’s a reduction of N-3 fatty acid consumption or an increase in N-6 consumption that causes the problems.
People purporting the benefits of the ratio are (at best) making an attribution error. The ratio is a symptom of other nutrition habits (like an out of whack meat/plants ratio) that have degenerating effects.
Overly Simplistic Diet Rules
As a general rule, be suspicious of “single variable” eating strategies. Whether it be an ingredient (gluten, fat, lactose, etc) or measurement (n6/n3 ratio, pH, etc).
Your body is complicated, making claims about the importance of a single factor probably false.
Like Einstein said…..“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”