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Home > Anti-aging Research > Fats

Essential Fatty Acids

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I did some research to try to clear up the confusion among the various fats.  The ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 should be about 2:1.  For most people in the United States it is believed to be about 10 to 20:1.  What makes that even worse is that high omega 6 can suppress omega 3 absorption1.  The omega 3 in vegetable sources such as canola, soyabean and flax oils and  are in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), which must be converted to docosapentaenoic acid  (DHA) and/or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) whereas most of the omega 3 in fish oil is already in that form6.  You need relatively large amounts of LNA to form enough EPA and DHA6,23.  There is evidence that low omega 3 status can contribute to or increased omega 3 may improve heart disease1,2, stroke16, breast cancer1, prostate cancer1,15, lung cancer1, colon cancer1, arthritis1, schizophrenia1,3,18, bipolar disorder2,18, depression1,9,14,18, anxiety1, attention deficit1,2,18, borderline personality disorder21, hair loss7, diabetes1, Raynaud's phenomenon2, asthma1, hypertriglyceridemia1,11, hyperlipidemia11, lupus2, IgA nephropathy1,2, kidney stones2,10, chronic fatigue syndrome2, cystic fibrosis1,2,17, dyslexia2,18, eye diseases1, hypertension1,8,12, Alzheimer's disease20, cognitive impairment,18 , dry eye syndrome22 and dementia3,18. All refs at x.

A 100 gram (3.52 ounce) serving of fresh Atlantic Salmon has the EPA + DHA of about 2.2 capsules of Mega Twin EPA (at iHerb or Vitacosticon) (1836/840 = 2.2) or 6.1 capsules (1836/300 = 6.1) of the lower priced products such as Sun Ultra Omega 3.

Wild fish may increase the your exposure to mercury and PCBs, not only in fresh-water fish but also in ocean fish. 4, 2, 19  However, farmed fish may be low in omega 3 and high in omega 6 if they were fed grain products instead of marine products. 4, 13

The molecular distillation method used for fish oil supplements is claimed to remove metals, PCBs and other toxins to below detectable levels for human consumption.  In the fish oil table below, I've marked to ones that claim to use molecular distillation with an asterisk (*).  Vitacost had several brand named fish oil products tested by an independent lab, some of which aren't advertised as being molecularly distilled.  The analysis showed that all the samples had no detectable total mercury. 3  Consumer Lab tested 20 brands of fish oil and none were found to contain detectable levels of mercury [less than 1.5 parts per billion (ppb)] but some fell short of the labeled amount of EPA or DHA.   By comparison, mercury levels in fish generally range from 10 ppb to 1,000 ppb, depending on the fish.2  Nether Vitacost or Consumer Lab discussed PCB results, which I thought was strange.

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega 6 fatty acid.  Some argue that the conversion of linoleic acid (the form of omega 6  in most vegetable oils) to GLA is poor and therefore we don't get enough.  I'm not a doctor but used to find it hard to believe that if we are getting way too much linoleic acid that GLA would be a problem.  Then I tried some GLA supplements and around the same time, my blood pressure went down considerably.

I haven't run across any recommendations for omega 9, however the vegetable oil table below shows that nearly all vegetable oils have a significant amount of omega 9.  If most Americans get 10 times too much omega 6 and most vegetable oils are mostly omega 9, I can't see the point in taking the combo omega 3, 6, 9 supplements so I just take omega 3 from fish oil.  Does omega 9 inhibit the absorption of omega 3 like omega 6 does?  I don't believe there have been any trials to determine that.  See the tables below for various fish oil capsules and vegetable oils.  See "General Information" below for references:

Trans fatty acids are not required to be listed on labels.  About the only way you can tell is if it says "hydrogenated (name of oil) oil" on the label.  I've read a lot of margarine labels and was only able to find two that didn't have trans fats.  One is Promise, made with sunflower oil.  Sunflower oil is about 11% saturated fat, 63% omega 6,  a trace of omega 3 and 26% omega 9.  The other is Smart Balance, which is made with soy, palm, canola and olive oils.  I did the math on those four oils and it averaged 22% saturated fat, 23% omega 6, 5% omega 3 (in the form of LNA) and 50% omega 9.  That's assuming equal amounts of all four oils, which probably isn't the case but I doubt if those figures are far off.

LA - Linoleic Acid ALA or LNA - Alpha linolenic acid 18:3 (n-3) Oleic acid
GLA - Gamma linolenic acid EPA - Eicosapentaenoic acid
DGLA - Dihomo gamma-linolenic Acid DHA - Docosahexaenoic acid  
AA - Arachidonic Acid DPA (omega 3) - Docosapentaenoic acid
DTA - Docosatetraenoic acid    
DPA -  (omega 6) Docosapentaenoic

Approximate percent fatty acid composition - Refs: A, B

  Saturated Fat Omega-6 Omega-3 ** Omega-9
Canola oil 8% 20% 10% 62%
Sunola oil 10% 6% 0% 84%
Safflower oil 9% 77% 0% 14%
Sunflower oil 11% 63% trace 26%
Olive oil 14% 10% trace 76%
Corn oil 14% 52% 2% 32%
Soyabean oil 15% 54% 8% 23%
Peanut oil 19% 34% 2% 45%
Cottonseed oil 27% 55% 0% 18%
Palm oil 51% 10% trace 39%
Coconut oil 91% 2% 0% 7%
Tallow oil 50% 2% 1% 47%
Butterfat 64% 2% 1% 33%

** The omega-3 in vegetable oils is in the form of alpha linolenic acid (no EPA, DHA or DPA).  See "General Information" below for why alpha linolenic acid might not be as effective.

Omega 3 in various fish oil capsules as a percentage of the total fat in the capsule


Total omega 3 EPA DHA Other omega 3 (DPA and ALA)
Twinlab TwinEPA (vc) 1,000 mg capsule 840/1000 = 84% 600/1000 = 60% 240/1000 = 24% 0%
Jarrow Max DHA * 500 mg capsule 400/500 = 80% 100/500 = 20% 250/500 = 50% 50/500 = 10%
Sun Ultra DHA 50 * 500 mg capsule 400/500 = 80% 100/500 = 20% 250/500 = 50% 50/500 = 10%
Sun Ultra 30/20 * 1,000 mg capsule 600/1000 = 60% 300/1000 = 30% 200/1000 = 20% 100/1000 = 10%
Source Naturals EPA 1,000 mg capsule 600/1000 = 60% 450/1000 = 45% 100/1000 = 10% 50/1000 = 5%
RxOmega-3 1,000 mg capsule 630/1065 = 59% 400/1065 = 38% 200/1065 = 19% 30/1065 = 3%
LEF Mega EPA 1,200 mg capsule 700/1200 = 58% 400/1200 = 33% 300/1200 = 25% 0%
Enzymatic Eskimo-3 500 mg capsule 200/500 = 40% 87/500 = 17% 55/500 = 11% 58/500 = 12%
NSI Superior EFA 1,000 mg capsule 400/1000 = 40% 100/1000 = 10% 250/1000 = 25% 50/1000 = 5%
Carlson Norwegian Salmon Oil 1,000 mg capsule 375/1000 = 38% 180/1000 = 18% 125/1000 = 13% 70/1000 = 7%
Twinlab Super MaxEPA 1,200 mg capsule  375/1200 = 31% 225/1200 = 19% 150/1200 = 12% 0%
Sun Ultra Omega 3 1,000 mg capsule 300/1000 = 30% 180/1000 = 18% 120/1000 = 12% 0%
Zone Perfect 1000 mg capsule 267/1000 = 27% 160/1000 = 16% 107/1000 = 11%  
Now Foods Salmon Oil 400/2000 = 20% 240/2000 = 12% 160/2000 = 8% 0%

Vegetable oils (note that the omega 3 is in the form of ALA.  See "General Information" below for why this might not be as good)

Source Natural Omega Flax 1,000 mg capsule 570/1000 = 57% 0% 0% 570/1000 = 57% (ALA)
Canola Oil 10% 0% 0% 10% (ALA)

vc - Vitacost price
* Molecular Distillation

Common food sources of omega 6 and omega 3
100 grams = 3.52 ounces
Food Total Fat (g/100g) Omega 6 (mg/100g) Omega 3 (mg/100g)
ALA EPA, DPA or DHA Total n-3
Nuts and Seeds          
Almonds (blanched) 55.8 13500 0 0 0
Hazelnut 61.4 7000 100 0 100
Peanut (roasted, skin, salted) 51.7 16300 0 0 0
Pecan 71.9 24200 600 0  
Pine nut 70.9 39800 0 0 0
Sesame seed 55.6 24400 0 0 0
Walnut 69.2 43200 6300 0 6300
Fresh Fish          
Barramundi 2.1 82 35 520 555
Bream 4 75 25 572 598
Cod, Antarctic 4.1 46 0 756 756
Flathead 1.6 22 1 410 411
Gemfish 6.4 248 103 721 824
Mackerel, blue, with skin 3.3 204 34 1108 1204
Mullet 3.0 359 14 595 637
Oyster, Sydney rock 4.0 184 109 1024 1404
Perch, golden 2.3 265 79 460 602
Salmon, Atlantic 7.1 592 108 1836 2131
Salmon, Australian 1.5 48 5 615 626
Trevally 1.8 294 5 629 634
Whiting 0.5 45 3 132 136
Canned Fish          
Sardine (canned in oil, drained) 15.7 1839 329 2615 2944
Australian Salmon (Safcol) 3.4 86 36 981 1089
Pink Salmon (John West) 6.8 116 69 1454 1643
Red Salmon (Paramount) 10.4 178 89 1740 2133
Tuna 23.2 10700 930 487 1417
Omega Supplements Values are mg/capsule
Twinlab Mega Twin EPA (vcicon) 1,000 mg capsule       840 840
Jarrow Max DHA 500 mg capsule *       400 400
Sun Ultra 30/20 1,000 mg capsule *       600 600
Source Naturals EPA 1,000 mg capsule     25 575 600
Source Natural Omega Flaxicon 1,000 mg capsule     567 0 567

* Molecular Distillation

General Information:

  • Fats, Fish Oil and Omega-3-Fatty Acids - Medicinenet.com
  • Fats: Nutrition Source -  Harvard School of Public Health
  • Essential Fatty Acids, Flax Seed Oil, Udo's Choice Products > FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions!
  • Omega 3: Implications in Human Health and Disease - PowerPak.com -  "The omega 6 LA comprises 7% to 9% of our daily caloric intake, while the omega 3 LNA makes up about 0.7% of energy. It is therefore estimated that the dietary ratio of LA to LNA ranges from 10 to 20:1, at which level the metabolism of LNA is strongly suppressed. Again, this is far more than the recommended ratio of 2.3:1 ... From an evolutionary perspective, a significant change in the diet has occurred in a very short time. The diet of our ancestors in the Paleolithic period (400,000 to 45,000 years ago) was lower in fat and balanced in omega 6 and omega 3—a ratio of 1:1, or 10- to 20-fold lower than today's standard."
  • Omega 3: Implications in Human Health and Disease - PowerPak.com - "It should be noted, however, that flaxseed or flaxseed oil does not contain EPA or DHA. Thus flaxseed and fish oil are not interchangeable sources of omega 3 fatty acids per se" - I believe the same holds true for canola oil - Ben
  • Omega 3: Implications in human health and disease - PowerPak.com - "we know that diets high in the omega 6 LA—the typical American diet—suppress the metabolism and accretion of blood and tissue omega 3 fatty acids"
  • GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid): The Good Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acid - Total Health for Longevity Magazine, 9/00 - "A healthy body can use some of the linoleic acid it gets in the diet to produce GLA. The truth is most of us don't properly utilize linoleic acid. There are a number of dietary and lifestyle factors inhibiting the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA: sugar consumption, smoking, alcohol, chemical carcinogens, aging and illnesses (viral infections, cancer, diabetes, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, and hormonal fluctuations) ... In addition, there are major metabolic roadblocks which get in the way of the conversion. The main culprits are the "bad" fats: trans-fatty acids from margarine, vegetable shortening and commercially processed vegetable oils. These are biologically inferior fats, totally incapable of being converted into the powerful GLA. Instead, they actually hinder the very catalyst needed for the GLA transformation, a special enzyme called D6D (Delta-6-Desaturase) and its vital co-workers-vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, zinc and magnesium"
  • Best Heart Benefits From Canola and Fish Oils -- Not Olive Oil - WebMD, 3/14/00 - "Most people don't realize that the Lyon diet did not use olive oil ... Ten volunteers, all with normal cholesterol levels, were given three meals composed of canola oil and bread, olive oil and bread, or salmon, with each meal totaling 50 g of fat ... The olive oil meal caused vessels to constrict by 34%, whereas the canola oil and salmon meals caused insignificant changes in blood vessels, Vogel reports. Because such constrictions injure the blood vessels' endothelium, they contribute to heart disease"
  • Different Types of Dietary Fat - thenutritionreporter.com

News & Research:

  • Effects of Different Vegetable Oils on the Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in C57/BL Mice - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2023 Jan 14 - "the commercial vegetable oils either contributed to the prevention or reduction of induced nonalcoholic fatty liver with high fat and fructose diet, especially canola oil"
  • Unsaturated Fatty Acid Intakes During Midlife Are Positively Associated with Later Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Modulating Effects of Antioxidant Supplementation - J Nutr. 2018 Dec 1 - "Whereas higher total MUFA and n-6 PUFA intakes may be generally beneficial for maintaining cognitive health during aging, a higher consumption of n-3 fatty acids may only be beneficial among individuals with an adequate antioxidant status. These findings underline the importance of not only focusing on specific nutrients for dementia prevention, but also considering the complex interaction between consumed nutrients"
  • Coconut oil is 'pure poison,' Harvard professor says in talk on nutrition - USA Today, 8/22/18 - "Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, told USA TODAY last year that "there’s a disconnect between people’s general beliefs and what the data actually show." He recommends instead using oils high in monounsaturated fats (including olive oil and avocado oil) and those high in polyunsaturated fats (such as canola oil) ... The AHA, which advises against the use of coconut oil, recommends eating no more than six percent of saturated fat as part of total daily calories for those who need lower cholesterol. The oil has "no known offsetting favorable effects," the AHA said in an advisory last year, and it could actually increase LDL ("bad") cholesterol, a cause of cardiovascular disease ... Turns out coconut oil has more saturated fats than lard!"
  • How to choose a healthier mayonnaise, or make your own - Washington Post, 8/8/18 - "some of the mayonnaises currently sitting on the grocery store shelves are healthier than the conventional ones, most of which are made with oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn and soybean. These oils are low in healthful Omega 3 fatty acids and high in Omega 6 fatty acids — excess consumption of which can be unhealthy ... When picking an alternative mayonnaise to taste test, choose one with organically produced oils, ideally olive or avocado (canola oil is an acceptable option but provides fewer health benefits). In moderation, olive and avocado oils are healthy for your heart, cholesterol, and brain, and also deliver antioxidants to fight disease. Read the labels carefully: Some of the products labeled “olive oil mayonnaise” include a combination of olive oil and canola or soybean oil. Organic eggs are ideal because they cannot be exposed to the toxic chemicals and hormones that nonorganic eggs are. Rosemary oil is a much more wholesome preservative than potassium sorbate or calcium disodium EDTA, and look for real flavors, such as salt, herbs, spices and mustard instead of the so-called “natural” flavors. Also, don’t fall for the fat-free marketing; many of these versions add sugar to mask the less-creamy taste ... Among the newer products I’ve tried, my personal favorite is Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil Mayonnaise, with its tangy flavor ... Other brands to try are Whole Foods 365 Organic Mayonnaise, which also has some canola oil, or Thrive Market’s Coconut Oil Mayonnaise" - Note:  The highest rated on Amazon is BetterBody Foods Avocado Oil Mayonnaise, Avocado Oil Mayo is made with 100% Avocado Oil, Non-GMO, Cage-Free Eggs, Soy & Canola Free, 28 Ounce but with only 11 reviews.  I posted a video on YouTube years ago on making olive oil mayonnaise.
  • How to pick the healthiest fish for your plate - CNN, 4/6/17 - "One polyunsaturated fat, an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid, was shown in the Harvard study to be especially protective against death by cancer and coronary artery disease. Walnuts are one of the best sources of linoleic acid; eating just seven shelled walnuts provides about 11 grams of the good stuff ... If you are dutifully eating your two servings a week, but it's from tilapia, shrimp, scallops or catfish, you won't actually be getting much of the health benefits from the omega-3 fatty acids ... Regardless of the type, salmon is still one of the best omega-3 sources" -  Note:  The article points out this study which implies that omega-6 isn't as bad as most claim:
    • Association of Specific Dietary Fats With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality - JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Aug 1;176(8):1134-4 - "The HRs of total mortality comparing extreme quintiles of specific dietary fats were 1.08 (95% CI, 1.03-1.14) for saturated fat, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.78-0.84) for polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), 0.89 (95% CI, 0.84-0.94) for monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), and 1.13 (95% CI, 1.07-1.18) for trans-fat (P < .001 for trend for all). Replacing 5% of energy from saturated fats with equivalent energy from PUFA and MUFA was associated with estimated reductions in total mortality of 27% (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.70-0.77) and 13% (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.82-0.93), respectively. The HR for total mortality comparing extreme quintiles of ω-6 PUFA intake was 0.85 (95% CI, 0.81-0.89; P < .001 for trend). Intake of ω-6 PUFA, especially linoleic acid, was inversely associated with mortality owing to most major causes, whereas marine ω-3 PUFA intake was associated with a modestly lower total mortality (HR comparing extreme quintiles, 0.96"
  • Extra virgin olive oil is the best option for frying fish - Science Daily, 7/15/16 - "During the shallow-frying of the fish under domestic conditions, not only do the fish lipids migrate to the frying oil, the components of the oil are also transferred to the fillet of fish. As a result, the composition of the oil used for frying is modified: firstly, it is enriched by the acyl groups ('fatty acids') that are present in a higher concentration in the fish fat than in the original oil, and secondly, and simultaneously, it is depleted in the acyl groups present in a higher concentration in the original oil than in the fish fat. So after having been used for frying, the extra virgin olive oil was richer in omega-3, omega-1 acyl groups, linoleic and saturated fats (from the fish) and poorer in oleic, which is the main acyl group in olive oil. Likewise, after having been used for frying, the sunflower oil was richer in all the acyl group types (coming from the fish) except linoleic, which is the majority acyl group in sunflower oil. Furthermore, after frying, both types of oil were enriched by small amounts of cholesterol (from the fish)"
  • Little to no association between butter consumption, chronic disease or total mortality - Science Daily, 6/29/16 - "Butter consumption was only weakly associated with total mortality, not associated with cardiovascular disease, and slightly inversely associated (protective) with diabetes ... Overall, our results suggest that butter should neither be demonized nor considered "back" as a route to good health"
  • Very-low-fat diets may be associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome in the adult population - Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct 16 - "odds ratios (OR) ... Surprisingly, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was significantly higher in the ≤15% fat intake group (OR = 1.277), accompanied by lower daily energy intake compared to the reference group (≥25% fat intake). Higher daily fat intake was associated with significantly lower ORs for four components of metabolic syndrome, except diabetes mellitus, using continuous variable analysis, whereas only three serum components (serum HDL, serum triglyceride, and blood pressure) exhibited significantly higher ORs in the lowest tertile of dietary fat intake (≤15%) compared with the reference group (≥25% fat-intake tertile) ... Subjects in the low-fat group (≤15%) had much lower daily energy intake, by 500 kcal, compared with subjects who consumed high-fat diets (≥25%)"
  • Does cooking with vegetable oils increase the risk of chronic diseases?: a systematic review - Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113(S2):S36-S48 - "we conclude that (1) the myth that frying foods is generally associated with a higher risk of CVD is not supported by the available evidence; (2) virgin olive oil significantly reduces the risk of CVD clinical events, based on the results of a large randomised trial that included as part of the intervention the recommendation to use high amounts of virgin olive oil, also for frying foods; and (3) high consumption of fried foods is probably related to a higher risk of weight gain, though the type of oil may perhaps modify this association"
  • Endurance Runners on Low-Carb Diet Burn Fat - Medscape, 6/11/15 - "Ten of the athletes habitually ate high-carbohydrate diets that were 28% fat, 15% protein, and 58% carbohydrate, and 10 ate low-carbohydrate diets that were 71% fat, 19% protein, and 11% carbohydrate. All had been on these diets for at least 6 months ... on average, the high-carbohydrate group burned less fat per minute than the low-carbohydrate group ... 0.67 vs 1.54 g"
  • High fat diets are associated with higher abdominal adiposity regardless of physical activity in adolescents; the HELENA study - Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct 18 - "physical activity (PA) ... The percent of energy derived from dietary fat intake is strongly and linearly associated with total, truncal and abdominal adiposity independently of PA in adolescents. These observations implicate the amount of dietary fat intake as a specific risk factor in the excess of abdominal adiposity in adolescence"
  • Re-Analysis Refutes Diet Guidelines Favoring Vegetable Fats - WebMD, 2/6/13 - "The first group was told to consume linoleic acid, in the form of safflower oil and safflower oil polyunsaturated margarine, at levels equal to 15 percent of total calorie intake. This, said Ramsden, is equivalent to roughly twice the amount that Americans currently consume ... While omega-3 consumption was not affected, the men were also asked to lower their saturated fat intake so that it made up less than 10 percent of their diets. They did so by substituting safflower oil for animal fats ... The second group continued their routine nutritional habits ... By newly crunching all the original data the NIH team found that, compared to the no-dietary-change group, the linoleic acid group faced a higher risk of death, from both heart disease specifically as well as from all causes overall ... the NIH team found no evidence to support the notion that linoleic acid confers health benefits. The review highlighted the possibility that boosting omega-6 consumption may actually increase the risk for developing heart disease ... Polyunsaturates are not just involved in cholesterol-lowering. They may also be involved in inflammation, oxidation or clotting"
  • Dietary Intake of Cholesterol Is Positively and Use of Cholesterol-Lowering Medication Is Negatively Associated with Prevalent Age-Related Hearing Loss - J Nutr. 2011 May 25 - "After multivariable adjustment, the likelihood of prevalent hearing loss increased from the lowest (reference) to the highest quartile of dietary cholesterol intake (P-trend = 0.04). Among persons self-reporting statin use (n = 274), a 48% reduced odds of prevalent hearing loss was observed after multivariable adjustment [OR = 0.52 (95% CI = 0.29-0.93)]. Participants in the second and 3rd quartiles of dietary monounsaturated fat intake compared with those in the first quartile (reference) had a significantly reduced risk of hearing loss progression 5 y later [multivariable-adjusted OR = 0.39 (95% CI = 0.21-0.71)] and [OR = 0.51 (95% CI = 0.29-0.91)], respectively. Our results suggest that a diet high in cholesterol could have adverse influences on hearing, whereas treatment with statins and consumption of monounsaturated fats may have a beneficial influence"
  • Damaged hearts pump better when fueled with fats, study suggests - Science Daily, 5/4/11 - "for a damaged heart, a balanced diet that includes mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and which replaces simple sugars (sucrose and fructose) with complex carbohydrates, may be beneficial ... researchers previously thought a high-fat diet fed to animal models that have suffered a heart attack, would overload their tissues with fat, which in turn would have a toxic effect on their hearts. Surprisingly, the heart's pump function improved on the high-fat diet. Through further testing, the researchers found that animal models suffering from heart failure and receiving a low fat diet were able to produce insulin and take up glucose from the blood, just as healthy hearts do. However, the biological models with heart failure that were fed high-fat diets showed signs of insulin resistance, exhibited by a decreased amount of glucose taken up by the heart, as might be expected in a diabetic patient ... One of the main implications of these findings is that contrary to previously held beliefs, a state of insulin-resistance might actually be beneficial to a failing heart"
  • Dietary modulation of body composition and insulin sensitivity during catch-up growth in rats: effects of oils rich in n-6 or n-3 PUFA - Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan 31:1-14 - "linoleic acid (LA), α-linolenic acid (ALA), arachidonic acid (AA) or DHA. It has been shown that, compared with food-restricted rats refed a high-fat (lard) diet low in PUFA, those refed isoenergetically on diets enriched in LA or ALA, independently of the n-6:n-3 ratio, show improved insulin sensitivity, lower fat mass and higher lean mass, the magnitude of which is related to the proportion of total PUFA precursors (LA+ALA) consumed ... Isoenergetic refeeding on high-fat diets enriched in AA or DHA also led to improved body composition, with increases in lean mass as predicted by the quadratic model for PUFA precursors, but decreases in fat mass, which are disproportionately greater than predicted values; insulin sensitivity, however, was not improved. These findings pertaining to the impact of dietary intake of PUFA precursors (LA and ALA) and their elongated-desaturated products (AA and DHA), on body composition and insulin sensitivity, provide important insights into the search for diets aimed at counteracting the pathophysiological consequences of catch-up growth. In particular, diets enriched in essential fatty acids (LA and/or ALA) markedly improve insulin sensitivity and composition of weight regained, independently of the n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratio"
  • Essential oil pill prevents PMS, study suggests - Science Daily, 1/16/11 - "Women who were given capsules containing 2 grams of a combination of gamma linolenic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, other polyunsaturated acids and vitamin E reported significantly eased PMS symptoms at both 3 and 6 months after they began the treatment" - See borage oil at Amazon.com (GLA) and Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.  Oleic acid is omega-9 in which olive oil is a good source.  Linoleic acid is omega-6.  Most Americans get about 10 to 20 times too much omega-6 to begin with.  I don't know why they included it.  It makes me wonder about some of the researchers.  If they are showing a benefit, I would guess it's from the other ingredients and not the omega-6.  Gamma linolenic acid is an omega-6 also but it's a form that most don't get enough of.
  • High dietary fat, cholesterol linked to increased risk of breast cancer - Science Daily, 1/6/11 - "This mouse model is believed to closely parallel the pathogenesis of human breast cancer. PyMT mice were placed on a diet that contained 21.2 percent fat and 0.2 percent cholesterol, reflective of a typical Western diet. A control group of PyMT mice was fed a normal chow that had only 4.5 percent fat and negligible amounts of cholesterol ... tumors began to develop quickly in mice fed the fat/cholesterol-enriched chow. In this group, the number of tumors was almost doubled, and they were 50 percent larger than those observed in mice that ate a normal diet. "The consumption of a Western diet resulted in accelerated tumor onset and increased tumor incidences, multiplicity, and burden, suggesting an important role for dietary cholesterol in tumor formation," ... There was also a trend towards an increased number of lung metastasis in mice fed the fatty diet"
  • Fats of any kind may boost prostate cancer risk: Study - Nutra USA, 1/29/10 - "Last year, a study from Harvard reported that increased intakes of trans-fatty acids may increase the risk of non-aggressive prostate tumors by about 100 per cent ... the highest blood levels of trans oleic acid and linoleic acids (18:1n-9t and 18:2t) were associated with a 116 and 97 per cent increase in the risk of non-aggressive prostate tumors, respectively, compared to the lowest levels. The study followed almost 15,000 men over 13 years"
  • High-Carb, High-Fat Diets Better for Cognitive Performance - Medscape, 9/1/09 - "Diets high in carbohydrates or fat can lead to significantly better cognitive-performance and inflight-testing scores in pilots than diets high in protein"
  • High-fat diets linked to poor mental function - Nutra USA, 8/14/09 - "High consumption of fatty foods may reduce both cognitive function and physical endurance ... The standard diet-fed animals obtained 7.5 per cent of their calories from fat, while the high fat diet-fed animals obtained 55 per cent of their calories from fat ... According to the data, after only 5 days on the high-fat diet the physical endurance of the rats decreased by 30 per cent, compared to animals on the low-fat diet. By the ninth day, the animals were running 50 per cent less far ... their performance in the maze task also decreased. The number of correct decisions before making a mistake dropped from over six to an average of 5 to 5.5"
  • Omega Fatty Acid Balance Can Alter Immunity And Gene Expression - Science Daily, 5/29/09 - "Anthropological evidence suggests that human ancestors maintained a 2:1 w6/w3 ratio for much of history, but in Western countries today the ratio has spiked to as high as 10:1. Since these omega fatty acids can be converted into inflammatory molecules, this dietary change is believed to also disrupt the proper balance of pro- and anti- inflammatory agents, resulting in increased systemic inflammation and a higher incidence of problems including asthma, allergies, diabetes, and arthritis ... many key signaling genes that promote inflammation were markedly reduced compared to a normal diet, including a signaling gene for a protein called PI3K, a critical early step in autoimmune and allergic inflammation responses" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Recipe for Diabetes: Too Much Protein, Fat - WebMD, 4/7/09 - "A high-fat diet may lead to insulin resistance, a major step on the path to type 2 diabetes. But cutting back on fat may not help those who continue to eat too much protein"
  • The relation of {alpha}-linolenic acid to the risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis - Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Mar 25 - "High ALA intakes or high blood and adipose tissue concentrations of ALA may be associated with a small increased risk of prostate cancer" - Note: I've never been a fan of ALA (medium-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as flaxseed oil) over fish oil (long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) but I thought that was the only reason people took it and now even that's seems to be proven wrong.
  • Excessive Dietary Fat Caused 300 Percent Increase in Metastasizing Tumor Cells In Animal Models - Science Daily, 2/25/09 - "Researchers at Purdue University have precisely measured the impact of a high-fat diet on the spread of cancer, finding that excessive dietary fat caused a 300 percent increase in metastasizing tumor cells in laboratory animals"
  • Canola Oil Increases Compliance With Dietary Recommendations For Fatty Acids - Science Daily, 10/26/07 - "switching to canola-based products 100 percent of the time would decrease adults' saturated fatty acid intake by up to 9.4 percent; increase their intake of monounsaturated fatty acid by 27.6 percent; and increase their alpha-linolenic acid intakes by73 percent"
  • Low-fat Dietary Pattern May Lower Risk Of Ovarian Cancer - Science Daily, 10/9/07 - "after four years, women who decreased the amount of dietary fat they consumed were 40 percent less likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who followed normal dietary patterns. As expected, no effect was found during the first four years because preventive benefits on cancer often take many years to develop"
  • Fish, Seafood Better Than Olive Oil, Nuts Against Heart Disease - Science Daily, 5/4/07 - "mice fed diets high in saturated and monounsaturated fat showed an increase in acyl-coenzyme A compared to mice fed a diet enriched in polyunsaturated fat. These results suggest that polyunsaturated fat is a more suitable replacement than monounsaturated fat for dietary saturated fat"
  • Diets With High Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratios Enhance Risk for Depression, Inflammatory Disease - Medscape, 4/26/07 - "Whereas the early hunter-gatherers had a dietary omega-6:omega-3 ratio of 2:1 to 3:1, this ratio is now 15:1 to 17:1 in North America today ... compared with the study participants who did not have syndromal depression, the 6 participants who had depression had significantly higher omega-6:omega-3 ratios and higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines"
  • The Facts About Fats - washingtonpost.com, 4/9/07
  • Large Study Shows Low-Fat Diet Has Little Effect on Reducing Risk of Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, or Cardiovascular Disease in Postmenopausal Women - Doctor's Guide, 2/8/06 - "Among postmenopausal women, a low-fat dietary pattern did not result in a statistically significant reduction in invasive breast cancer risk over an 8.1 year average follow-up period. However, the nonsignificant trends observed suggesting reduced risk associated with a low-fat dietary pattern indicate that longer, planned, nonintervention follow-up may yield a more definitive comparison"
  • Study Could Lead To A Novel Strategy For Treating Obesity - Science Daily, 1/16/06 - "Their results suggest that restoring fatty-acid levels in the brain may be a promising way to treat obesity"
  • Unsaturated Fats Can Lower Blood Pressure, Study Shows - WashingtonPost.com, 11/15/05 - "Trading about 10 percent of carbohydrates in one's diet for beans and healthy fats, such as olive oil, can help control high blood pressure and improve blood cholesterol levels"
  • Reheating Cooking Oil? - Dr. Weil, 9/23/05
  • Enova: A Healthier Oil for Your Salads? - Dr. Weil, 9/20/05
  • New Fat Is Needed To Clear Old Fat From The System - Science Daily, 5/10/05 - "developed genetically engineered mice missing an important fat synthesizing enzyme in the liver ... When we took dietary fat away from the FASKOL mice, their livers quickly filled with fat"
  • Fatty Acid Supplementation May Be Helpful in Developmental Coordination Disorder - Medscape, 5/6/05 - "117 children with DCD were randomized to dietary supplementation with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids or placebo for three months in parallel groups, followed by a one-way crossover from placebo to active treatment for an additional three months ... there were significant improvements for active treatment versus placebo in reading, spelling, and behavior for three months of treatment in parallel groups"
  • Is There a Link Between Macronutrient Intake and Prostate - Medscape, 5/5/05 - "In this sample of Italian men, intake of monounsaturated fatty acids and starch was directly related to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption was associated with a significantly lower risk of the disease"
  • Choosing among the many cooking oils - MSNBC, 4/29/05 - "The newest cooking and salad oil, Enova oil, is made from soybean and canola oils. Its manufacturer claims it helps reduce body fat ... This type of oil is digested and absorbed just like other fats, but the body handles it differently because of its unique structure. Instead of circulating through the body, DAGs seem to go directly to the liver to be burned for energy"
  • Fatty Acid Changes May Correlate With Dementia - Doctor's Guide, 4/27/05 - "Many of the degenerative diseases associated with aging, like cardiovascular disease, involve disturbances in fatty acid metabolism, the investigators explained. The higher concentrations of saturated fatty acids and lower concentrations of polyunsaturated fats seen in the nursing-home patients in this study might be markers of worsening cardiovascular atherogenicity, disability, and dementia"
  • Good Fat vs. Bad Fat - WebMD, 1/24/05 - "middle-aged men who substituted more good fat -- such as omega fatty acids (linoleic acids) and polyunsaturated fats - were 60% less likely to die early of heart disease than men who ate the least amounts of these good fats in their diets"
  • High-fat Diets Hammer Memory, More Than A Waistline Worry - Science Daily, 11/3/04 - "the mice on the high-fat and high-fat, high-sugar diets could not learn and remember the maze as well as those on the other diets"
  • Dieters Decrease Heart Risk on Moderate Fat Program - Doctor's Guide, 1/29/04 - "Over the course of the study, the low-fat diet group experienced a 12 percent decrease in HDL ("good") cholesterol but the moderate-fat diet group had no change. This indicates that a moderate-fat diet blunts the decrease in HDL ("good") cholesterol during weight loss"
  • Fat Intake Modifies Progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Medscape, 12/8/03 - "Most types of dietary fat are associated with increased risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), whereas nuts and fish are protective ... Specifically, higher intake of vegetable fat, and to a lesser extent animal fat, increased rates of progression"
  • High-Fat Diet, Breast Cancer Linked - CBS News, 7/17/03 - "those who average more than 90 grams of fat a day have roughly double the risk of those who eat just 37 grams" - That's another area that hasn't been fully researched regarding the Atkin's diet.
  • Fatty Diet Raises Diabetes Risk - WebMD, 6/20/03 - "surveys of people with diabetes have suggested a link between the amount of saturated fat in a person's diet and diabetes risk, but until now that link has not been confirmed by biological evidence ... they looked at the levels of fatty acids in the blood, which reflects how much saturated fat a person generally eats over time, and compared it to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes among a group of 2,909 adults aged 45-64 ... During nine years of follow-up, 252 of the men and women developed type 2 diabetes ... As the level of fatty acids increased, the likelihood that the person developed type 2 diabetes also increased" - This is something else the Atkin's studies should be looking at.  This study was nine years.  I believe the longest Atkin's study was one year. - Ben
  • Eggs May Lower Breast Cancer Risk - WebMD, 2/20/03 - "eating about three eggs a week during adolescence decreased the risk of breast cancer by 18%. Diets rich in vegetable oils and dietary fiber had similar effects. But eating roughly one pat of butter a day increased risk by 6%"
  • Dietary Fats and the Risk of Incident Alzheimer Disease - Archives of Neurology, 2/03 - "Intakes of saturated fat and trans-unsaturated fat were positively associated with risk of Alzheimer disease, whereas intakes of -6 polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat were inversely associated. Persons in the upper fifth of saturated-fat intake had 2.2 times the risk of incident Alzheimer disease compared with persons in the lowest fifth"
  • Tropical Oils: What’s Healthy? What’s Not? - Dr. Weil, 10/18/02
  • Fat: Not Too Much, Not Too Little - Intelihealth, 9/5/02
  • Essential Fatty Acids - GoodFats - goodfats.pamrotella.com, 4/13/02
  • Eat Nuts For A Healthy Heart - New Hope Natural Media, 8/1/02
  • Study: Snacks May be Bad for Vision - Intelihealth, 8/15/01 - "Overindulging in fat-filled snack foods may heighten the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness and vision impairment in the United States for those over 55 ... The foods that contain these fats are highly processed, store-bought junk foods. Included in the study: margarine, chocolate, commercially prepared pie, cake, cookies, peanut butter, potato chips, french fries and nuts ... The study found that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in albacore tuna and salmon, could lessen the risk for age-related macular degeneration, as long as fish eaters maintain a low intake of linoleic acid (found in processed food and margarine)."
  • High Fatty Acid Levels May Mean Sudden Death For Middle-Aged Men - Intelihealth, 8/14/01 - "The editorial suggests that increasing omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, which come from fatty fish or canola oil, and decreasing the intake of omega-6 fatty acids, found in plant seed oils (corn, safflower, sunflower), is a way to reduce the risk of sudden death"
  • Macadamia Nut Becomes Latest Member of 'Good Nut Club' - WebMD, 4/24/00
  • New Soybean Oil Said Healthier - Intelihealth, 3/29/00


  1. Omega 3: Implications in Human Health and Disease - PowerPak.com
  2. Product Review: Omega-3 Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA) from Fish/Marine Oils - ConsumerLabs.com, 11/20/01
  3. Letter - Mercury and Fish Oil Supplements - Medscape, 4/13/01
  4. Omega-3 for Bipolar Disorder: Restoring the Balance - The Saturday Evening Post, Sep/Oct 01
  5. Nutriques - Fish Oils - nutrition.cornell.edu
  6. Omega-3 fatty acids - qualitycounts.com
  7. Can I Stop My Hair from Thinning? - Dr. Weil, 9/13/02
  8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Prevent Heart Disease By Improving Arterial Elasticity - Intelihealth, 7/25/02
  9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Ease Depression - ABC News, 9/16/02
  10. Fish and Nuts Are Brain Foods - ABC News, 8/28/02
  11. Fish Oil May Augment Atorvastatin As Treatment For Dyslipidemia In Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men - Doctor's Guide, 8/7/02
  12. Fishing for a Healthy Heart? - Healthscout, 7/26/02
  13. Sizing up omega-3 - USA Today, 4/30/02
  14. Salmon May Help Relieve Depression - WebMD, 3/15/02
  15. Go Fish! Types High in Fatty Acids May Prevent Prostate Cancer, Herring, Mackerel, and Salmon Recommended - WebMD, 6/1/01
  16. Women Who Eat Fish A Few Times Weekly May Cut Stroke Risk, Study Says - Intelihealth, 1/16/01
  17. Potential new approach to cystic fibrosis treatment reported - CNN, 10/9/99
  18. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Theory, Clinical Trials and Safety Issues - Psychiatric Times, 10/02
  19. Study Records Elevated Mercury - Intelihealth, 10/19/02
  20. Further Evidence Of Fish Consumption Link To Lower Alzheimer Risk - Doctor's Guide, 10/24/02
  21. Fish Oil Soothes Personality Disorder - WebMD, 1/17/03
  22. Can Certain Fats Relieve Dry Eye Symptoms? - stlukeseye.com, 7/20/00
  23. Can adults adequately convert alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3)? - Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1998;68(3):159-73