Are you taking a fish oil or flaxseed supplement, which also contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids (>600-700 mg)???!!
Lately I’ve noticed that more and more companies are highlighting the importance of the omega-6 fatty acids (in the form of linoleic acid) in their fish oil and/or flaxseed oil supplements. To me, this is a major problem. I’ve been trying to explain this to friends and family for a while now, but a recent article in Today’s Dietitian Magazine confirmed that I am correct in telling people to steer clear of these types of supplements.
Soy (vegan source)
If you are not a vegetarian or vegan you are less likely to have problems getting enough omega-3 (but trust me, I know plenty of animal eaters who still do not get enough). Many vegans and vegetarians (but certainly not all!) have trouble getting enough omega-3 and reducing their ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. This is especially true when they buy flaxseed or other omega-3 supplements, which also contain high amounts of omega-6 (>600-700mg). Companies like to capitalize on the fact that omega-6 is essential and we can only get it via food and/or supplements. But now you know, you do not need it in your supplements! That is, unless you don’t eat any oils, poultry, or snack foods….
But I highly doubt that is the case.
Did you know that an abundance of omega-6 in one’s diet (especially a vegan or vegetarian) can decrease the already low conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA? So I’m still pondering the idea of omega-6 being added to omega-3 supplements, especially ones meant for vegans. Now that you know it’s a waste of money, do yourself a favor and do not buy these. Look for omega-3 supplements that are strictly omega-3, unless of course you aren’t getting enough oils and other sources of fat in your diet, which may warrant these types of supplements (for example, if you’re on a very low calorie or low fat diet).
Omega-6 is a natural fat found in many of these products, but some companies provide more of these fats than others. Buy fish oil supplements, or flaxseed supplements, that do not contain more than ~600-700 mg omega-6, which is the lowest I found, and look for at least 1000 mg total EPA/DHA, per serving (or just look for the lowest ratio of the two fats possible). And of course, continue to focus on omega-3 when you eat foods throughout the day.