Omega 3 and 6 are essential fatty acids. Essential because your body needs them, but does not make them. So they must come from your diet.
As a component of the membrane in all cells, omega 3 and 6 play an important role in maintaining cellular function. And research reveals these essential fatty acids are involved in a variety of processes in the body, such as immunity and inflammation, as well as regulating clotting of blood, body temperature, blood pressure and reproduction.
To maintain good health, experts believe that the amount of omega 3 and 6 ingested should be relatively balanced. The reason for this is each type can cause an opposing effect on some bodily processes they influence. The most notable example is inflammation.
Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, while most omega 6 fatty acids tend to promote it. The typical American diet contains an excess of omega 6 relative to omega 3. This imbalance may explain why diseases associated with chronic inflammation are on the rise, for instance asthma, coronary artery disease, arthritis, hypertension, cancer, autoimmune disorders and inflammatory diseases.
Certain health conditions have been shown to benefit from an increased consumption of omega 3 fats, like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and psoriasis. But essentially, balancing the consumption of omega fats is recommended to everyone, whether in sickness or in good health. And this population wide encouragement emphasizes consuming more fish oil as a primary dietary change.