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Is Omega-6 Good for You?

Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, and other chronic diseases; biomarkers, lifestyle, supplements, drugs, and health care.
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Is Omega-6 Good for You?

Postby BrianR » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:46 am

@Drlipid tweeted this article that I don't think this has been posted previously:

Is Omega-6 Good for You? https://omegaquant.com/is-omega-6-good-for-you/

The article didn't provide much in the way of specific advice (thus making it a quick and easy read). But the interesting summary is that maybe you should consume higher levels of Omega-6 fatty acids. (In spite of what the internet has told us.)

The article discusses paywalled research from Omega Quant's Bill Harris, et al.:

Biomarkers of Dietary Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: An Individual-Level Pooled Analysis of 30 Cohort Studies
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10. ... 118.038908
Originally published 11 Apr 2019 Circulation. 2019;139:2422–2436
DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.038908

Global dietary recommendations for and cardiovascular effects of linoleic acid, the major dietary omega-6 fatty acid, and its major metabolite, arachidonic acid, remain controversial. To address this uncertainty and inform international recommendations, we evaluated how in vivo circulating and tissue levels of linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA) relate to incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) across multiple international studies.

We performed harmonized, de novo, individual-level analyses in a global consortium of 30 prospective observational studies from 13 countries. Multivariable-adjusted associations of circulating and adipose tissue LA and AA biomarkers with incident total CVD and subtypes (coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, cardiovascular mortality) were investigated according to a prespecified analytic plan. Levels of LA and AA, measured as the percentage of total fatty acids, were evaluated linearly according to their interquintile range (ie, the range between the midpoint of the first and fifth quintiles), and categorically by quintiles. Study-specific results were pooled using inverse-variance–weighted meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was explored by age, sex, race, diabetes mellitus, statin use, aspirin use, omega-3 levels, and fatty acid desaturase 1 genotype (when available).

In 30 prospective studies with medians of follow-up ranging 2.5 to 31.9 years, 15 198 incident cardiovascular events occurred among 68 659 participants. Higher levels of LA were significantly associated with lower risks of total CVD, cardiovascular mortality, and ischemic stroke, with hazard ratios per interquintile range of 0.93 (95% CI, 0.88–0.99), 0.78 (0.70–0.85), and 0.88 (0.79–0.98), respectively, and nonsignificantly with lower coronary heart disease risk (0.94; 0.88–1.00). Relationships were similar for LA evaluated across quintiles. AA levels were not associated with higher risk of cardiovascular outcomes; in a comparison of extreme quintiles, higher levels were associated with lower risk of total CVD (0.92; 0.86–0.99). No consistent heterogeneity by population subgroups was identified in the observed relationships.

In pooled global analyses, higher in vivo circulating and tissue levels of LA and possibly AA were associated with lower risk of major cardiovascular events. These results support a favorable role for LA in CVD prevention.

Unfortunately, the research doesn't consider Alzheimer's or APOE4. The paper does seem to be available on Sci-Hub.

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Re: Is Omega-6 Good for You?

Postby xactly » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:30 am

Peter Attia published an interview of Bill Harris that I found fascinating. I learned that linoleic acid (Omega-6) is an essential fatty acid (can't be synthesized in the body). Harris also discussed research which shows consumption of linoleic acid is inversely proportional to the incidence of cardiovascular disease. His bottom line is that you shouldn't try to decrease consumption of Omega-6 fats. Instead, you should focus on increasing consumption of Omega-3 fats.

He also commented that the risk of consuming high amounts of mercury in a fish like tuna is greatly offset by the benefits of increased Omega-3 consumption.

I'm planning to boost my consumption of DHA/EPA over the next four months, then run the Omega-3 Index test that his company offers. The Omega-3 Index assesses the fatty acid composition of red blood cell membranes, and the ideal range is 8% to 12%. (The average American is at 4% to 5%).

I stopped taking fish oil after Rhonda Patrick's research showed DHA in ethyl ester form does not readily cross the blood/brain barrier for APOE4 carriers. However, that may be short-sighted if increased DHA/EPA provides other benefits outside of the brain. I'm going to increase my salmon and tuna consumption to three times a week and add back fish oil supplementation.

On a related note, Rhonda Patrick said in her latest AMA she does not take krill oil, which I have been taking in place of fish oil. She said the level of DHA in krill oil is too low to make a difference. She's trying an experiment, supplementing with 6 grams of NPure-3 fish oil each day and said she will share her results.

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