The cell membrane of nearly every cell in the human body is made up of cholesterol (cholesterol is good for you, by the way, not bad for you) and phospholipids (essential fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahaexanoic acid (DHA)). For example, the brain is made up mostly of fatty acids; the synapses (the connections) between neurons (brain cells) are 80% fatty acids.
Sugar impairs your brain function, memory and cognitive ability. Omega-3 deficiency makes it worse. [Read abstract] [Journal article]
So, not only are essential fatty acids critical structural components of our cells, but much of the body’s physiologic function is dependent upon having sufficient essential fatty acids in general and omega-3 in particular. Combined with the importance of these essential fatty acids is the fact that our modern culture is terribly deficient in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Because we eat grains and vegetable oils, and because we eat domesticated grain-fed animals, we eat waaaayyyy to much omega-6 fats. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in most people is so imbalanced it causes people to be unhealthy, very unhealthy. You can’t say this too much. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in most people is so imbalanced it causes people to be unhealthy, very unhealthy.
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The O-3 : O-6 Ratio
Research has shown that the human body is healthy when our dietary intake of essential fatty acids is a ratio of 1:2 between omega-3 and omega-6. Current research shows that people today are eating a diet style of processed foods (which contain vegetable oils high in omega-6), and grains (which are high in omega-6), and finally, grain fed animals, creating average ratios of 1:30, even 1:50 in people today. This gross imbalance of essential fats is resulting in many disease processes among modern cultures.
Inflammation and Omega-3
When the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 gets too high, dangerous inflammation results, causing many diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- High Cholesterol
- Autoimmune diseases (Lupus)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Premature and low birth weights
- Neurodegenerative dementia diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
- Crohn’s disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
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