According to new research from Norway, excessive consumption of the essential fatty acid omega 6 may lead to issues with appetite control mechanisms in the brain, increasing the likelihood of weight gain.
This study showed that feeding mice high levels of omega 6 resulted in increased levels of appetite enhancing chemicals, and a subsequent increase in food intake. Omega 6 converts to arachidonic acid, which is a key component of the appetite enhancing chemicals 2-AG and AEA. The good news is, that omega 3 (the other essential fatty acid) given to these same mice, helped to normalise appetite, effectively offsetting the effects of the increased omega 6.
Alvheim AR, Malde MK, Osei-Hyiaman D, Hong Lin Y, Pawlosky R, Madsen L, Kristiansen K, Frøyland L, Hibbeln JR (2012). Dietary linoleic acid elevates endogenous 2-AG and anandamide and induces obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Feb 15. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.38.
In humans there are many controversies as to the correct balance between the essential fats omega 3 and 6. One thing is clear from research though; the modern diet generally contains way too high omega 6 in relation to omega 3. It is therefore advisable to reduce the intake of commercially available refined omega 6 rich vegetable oils, common examples being corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. At the same time, omega 3 can be increased by upping the intake of oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, tuna) and/or flaxseed oil (also called linseed oil). Fish oil/flaxseed oil supplement capsules can be used for convenience.
Category: Weight Loss