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Omega 6 fat - excess causes health problems

By David Coory

Although some forms of Omega 6 fats are essential for good health, it is now clear that excess Linoleic acid (a common type of Omega 6 vegetable fat extracted from seeds) is a massive problem in our modern diet.

It is strongly linked with our major killers, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

This dates from 1955, when medical authorities concluded that saturated animal fat caused cardiovascular disease. They then recommended a general change to polyunsaturated vegetable fats which are mostly high in Omega 6.

For example, margarines which are made from polyunsaturated vegetable oils contain on average about 15% Omega 6, whereas butter which is largely saturated fat contains only around 2%.

As a result, by 1980 in America, three times more Omega 6 fat was being eaten. Although the number of men who smoked cigarettes had dropped from 75% down to 30%, there were 60 times as many lung cancer deaths. Other cancers had also skyrocketed.

This problem does not appear to apply to the unprocessed GLA form of Omega 6 found in borage and evening primrose seeds, or the CLA form found in animal fat.

The reason for the serious health problems from excess Omega 6 is now clear.

When the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fat in our diet exceeds 9 to 1, our human immune system begins to shut down. This allows cancer and inflammation-causing infection disorders such as cardiovascular disease, asthma and arthritis to gain the upper hand.