EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement

Please refer to the discussion of this topic in the Treatments section. In that section, essential fatty acids are discussed in general. Your need for the Omega-6 family of essential fatty acids is noted here, and should be taken into consideration as you review the information there.

 


Signs, symptoms & indicators of EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement

Symptoms - Hair  

Brittle hair



Symptoms - Skin - General  

Bumps on backs of arms




Conditions that suggest EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement

Mental  

Schizophrenia

There is now convincing evidence that membrane phospholipid metabolism is abnormal in schizophrenic patients. There is a marked depletion of essential fatty acids, particularly arachidonic acid and docosahexanoic acid, in red blood cell membranes from schizophrenic patients relative to healthy control subjects. Schizophrenic patients who eat more (n-3) fatty acids in their normal diet have less severe symptoms. In a pilot study of (n-3) fatty acid supplementation, the authors observed significant improvement in both schizophrenic symptoms and tardive dyskinesia over a 6 week period. [Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1996 Aug;55(1-2): pp.71-5] However, those with pyroluria may need to avoid n-3 fatty acids, pointing to the importance of red blood cell essential fatty acid testing.



Musculo-Skeletal  


Risks  

Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer

Working with human prostate cancer cells in tissue cultures, researchers found omega-6 fatty acids, added to the mix, spur the production of cPLA2, which then causes the production of the enzyme COX2. The introduction of COX2 stimulates the release of PGE2, a hormone-like molecule that promotes cell growth.

Simply put, if you’re eating a diet that’s high in omega-6 fats, you could be vulnerable not only to prostate cancer, but colorectal and some breast cancers as well.

The incidence of prostate cancer over the past 60 years has risen as dietary ratios of omega-3 and 6 fats have changed. Back at the end of World War II, omega-3 and omega-6 ratios were lopsided (1:2) in favor of omega-3s. Now, that ratio is 25:1 on the omega-6 side.

The scientists who conducted the study were looking at possible new drugs to ward off prostate cancer based on the effect of flurbiprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly prescribed for arthritis. Flurbiprofen blocks the production of cPLA2 and breaks the chain leading to cell growth. [Carcinogenesis May 5, 2005]



Skin-Hair-Nails  

Dry skin

For those who have been focusing on getting a LOT more of the omega 3s in their diet and have cut way back on the omega 6s, if dry skin is still an issue, increasing your intake of omega 6 oils may help.



Symptoms - Skin - General  

Keratosis pilaris



Tumors, Malignant  


 


 

Prostate Cancer

Working with human prostate cancer cells in tissue cultures, researchers found omega-6 fatty acids, added to the mix, spur the production of cPLA2, which then causes the production of the enzyme COX2. The introduction of COX2 stimulates the release of PGE2, a hormone-like molecule that promotes cell growth.

Simply put, if you’re eating a diet that’s high in omega-6 fats, you could be vulnerable not only to prostate cancer, but colorectal and some breast cancers as well.

The incidence of prostate cancer over the past 60 years has risen as dietary ratios of omega-3 and 6 fats have changed. Back at the end of World War II, omega-3 and omega-6 ratios were lopsided (1:2) in favor of omega-3s. Now, that ratio is 25:1 on the omega-6 side.

The scientists who conducted the study were looking at possible new drugs to ward off prostate cancer based on the effect of flurbiprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly prescribed for arthritis. Flurbiprofen blocks the production of cPLA2 and breaks the chain leading to cell growth. [Carcinogenesis May 5, 2005]




Risk factors for EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement

Lifestyle  

Being a smoker



Symptoms - Cardiovascular  

History of/history of severe heart attack or history of heart attacks



Symptoms - Food - Intake  

(Lack of) vegetable oil consumption



 

Moderate/low cold water fish consumption or not eating cold water fish



 

Moderate/high Omega-3 oil intake

Although arachidonic acid (AA) has been given some negative press, it is the most prominent essential fatty acid in the red cell and comprises 12% of the total brain and 15% of the body lipid content. If AA is depleted by overdosing with marine or flax oil, establishing the balance of the EFAs is profoundly impaired. Often both prostaglandin 1 and 2 series relating to omega 6 metabolism are compromised when flax and marine oils are taken in excess or fat intake is insufficient.



Counter Indicators
Symptoms - Food - Intake  

Eating/little mercury contaminated fish



 

Minor olive oil use or using olive oil

High quality olive oil contains approximately 10% omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic) and 1% omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic).



 

Moderate/high cold water fish consumption



 

Vegetable oil consumption



Symptoms - Skeletal  

History of rheumatoid arthritis




EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement suggests the following may be present

Nutrients  



EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement can lead to

Skin-Hair-Nails  

Dry skin

For those who have been focusing on getting a LOT more of the omega 3s in their diet and have cut way back on the omega 6s, if dry skin is still an issue, increasing your intake of omega 6 oils may help.




Recommendations for EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement

Nutrient  


Key

Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Weakly counter-indicative
Strongly counter-indicative
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
Highly recommended

Glossary

Essential Fatty Acid

(EFA): A substance that the human body cannot manufacture and therefore must be supplied in the diet.

Fatty Acids

Chemical chains of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms that are part of a fat (lipid) and are the major component of triglycerides. Depending on the number and arrangement of these atoms, fatty acids are classified as either saturated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. They are nutritional substances found in nature which include cholesterol, prostaglandins, and stearic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic, eicosapentanoic (EPA), and decohexanoic acids. Important nutritional lipids include lecithin, choline, gamma-linoleic acid, and inositol.

Phospholipid

A fat or lipid containing phosphorus found in high quantities in the brain and very important to the function of cellular membranes and to the nervous system.

Metabolism

The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.

Arachidonic Acid

A polyunsaturated 20-carbon essential fatty acid occurring in animal fats and also formed by biosynthesis from dietary linoleic acid (Omega 6). It is a precursor in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and thromboxanes. Excess tends to produce inflammation.

Red Blood Cell

Any of the hemoglobin-containing cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and are responsible for the red color of blood.

Dyskinesia

A condition characterized by spasmodic, uncoordinated, or other abnormal movements; i.e., those which result from a reaction to phenothiazines.

Prostaglandin

Any of a class of physiologically active substances present in many tissues, with effects such as vasodilation, vasoconstriction, stimulation of the smooth muscles of the bronchus or intestine, uterine stimulation; also involved in pain, inflammation, fever, allergic diarrhea, and dysmenorrhea. A potent hormone -- similar in structure to an unsaturated fatty acid -- that acts in extremely low concentrations on local target organs; first isolated from the prostate.

Pyroluria

This condition is caused by an overproduction during hemoglobin synthesis of kryptopyrrole, which chemically combines with vitamin B6 and zinc, resulting in their excretion and a severe deficiency of both of these essential nutrients. Most pyroluric individuals never develop schizophrenia symptoms.

Prostate

The prostate gland in men that surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra and produces a secretion that liquefies coagulated semen.

Cancer

Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Enzymes

Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.

Anti-inflammatory

Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.

Arthritis

Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.

Lipid

Fat-soluble substances derived from animal or vegetable cells by nonpolar solvents (e.g. ether); the term can include the following types of materials: fatty acids, glycerides, phospholipids, alcohols and waxes.

Flax

Flax Seed or Flax Oil. Flax oil is nutty-flavored oil that is pressed out of flax seeds and is one of the richest sources of Essential Fatty Acids (especially Omega-3 oil), a vital element for good health. The oil making process removes many of the seed's phytoestrogens which offer several health-related benefits including reducing the risk of cancer and alleviating menopausal symptoms. Many choose to use the whole seed because of its fiber and lignan content. Flaxseed oil is light- and temperature-sensitive and must be stored in the refrigerator.

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