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16 Jan 2003

omega 3 and omega 6
Hi Doc

I drink a tablespoon flaxseed oil and Naturelle's 500mg starflower oil capsules (1) in the morning. Is this sufficient omega 3 and 6? I read that one should use the correct ratio of omega 3: omega 6 in order to have optimum health. Is this true, and if it is, what is the ratio and is the combination I use acceptable?

Thank you
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Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Lady
I presume you are taking the flaxseed oil for its omega-3 content and the starflower oil for its omega-6 content? According to research individuals eating a western diet already ingest more than enough omega-6 when they eat margarine and/or cooking and salad oils. It is, therefore, not necessary to top up omega-6 unless you have been diagnosed with a true deficiency of this essential fatty acid. The recommended ratio of omega 6:omega 3 is 5:1, while most people on a western diet who don't eat plenty of fish and green leafy vegetables, probably have a ratio of 10-20-40:1 - hence the imbalance. Keep in mind that flaxseed oil only contains a so-called precursor of omega-3, not ready formed omega-3, so your body still has to do the conversion to omega-3. Salmon oil capsules already contain true omega-3 in the form of EPA and DHA, so consider taking it instead of the flaxseed.
Best regards
DietDoc
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