Competition of EFA in Diet-Tissue Metabolic Changes

No person ever steps into the same river twice – Heraclitus noted how things keep changing.competition in Omega 3-6 Balance

Competition between omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids was seen long after they were first found in 1929. The chemistry of these vitamin-like nutrients was clarified during 1930 to 1960. Metabolism of n-6 linoleic and n-3 linolenic involves competition for elongation and desaturation enzymes which efficiently make the HUFA that accumulate in tissues. An early sign of essential need in the diet was poor growth and water balance.

Probably less than 0.5 % energy of the n-6 linoleic acid prevented deficiency symptoms in infants. Higher intakes that cause the %n-6 in HUFA to be above 50% are associated with higher health risks.

Competition occurs between omega-3 and omega-6 acids during eicosanoid formation and action.  Too much omega-6 creates a transition between healthy physiology and pathophysiology. With no dietary omega-3 nutrients, the dietary omega-6 linoleate has a very narrow therapeutic window that is made wider by dietary omega-3 nutrients. When you lower intake of omega-6, it makes omega-3 more effective.

Competition for your time is less with these very short videos.

Pioneering 1963 work of Mohrhauer and Holman showed potent competition of dietary n-3 and n-6 nutrients in forming tissue HUFA (1 min.video).

Health risk assessment estimates using the %n-6 in HUFA (1 min.video) result from food choices.  What people eat is important.

Conversations on benefits in balancing omega-3 and omega-6: Video Part 1 (4.5 min) and Video Part 2 (7 min).

Updated May, 2015