Fatty Acids: What is the Ideal Ratio of Omega 6 to 3 for Optimal Health?


The essential fatty acids play critical roles in human health. Both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids offer unique benefits to the immune, cardiovascular, and neurological systems. The modern human diet has shifted away from the omega 6 to 3 balance provided by Paleolithic and ancestral foods. An increased reliance on industrial seed oils as a significant source of calories has resulted in the highest physiological levels of omega 6 fatty acids in human history. The effect of increased cellular and mitochondrial membrane PUFA content is an overall reduction in membrane stability and a greater susceptibility to oxidation. The imbalanced, higher ratio of omega 6 to 3 fatty acids favor inflammation, increased blood pressure, and 2-series eicosanoids that favor metabolic syndrome. Join John Bagnulo MPH, PhD and Laura Dority MS, RD, LD for an in-depth discussion that will include optimal types and dietary levels of essential fatty acids, methods of establishing healthy ratios, clinical signs for identifying signs of imbalance, and foods sources of all types of omega 6 and 3 fatty acids.

References: Fatty Acids-What is the Ideal Ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 for Optimal Health References


Make sure to check to out the Continuing Education Guide for instructions on how to complete and earn your credit for this course!

What Will I Learn?

  • Identify the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio that anthropologists and archaeologists have suggested was common in ancestral populations.
  • List food sources of omega 3 fatty acids that are less common today and the food sources of omega 6 fatty acids that are new to the human diet, resulting in the increased omega 6 to 3 ratio.
  • Explain the role of each essential fatty acid in the production of eicosanoids.
  • Describe the change in membrane stability that occurs with higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Topics for this course

1 Lessons1h

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Fatty Acid Webinar