How Are Linoleic and Linolenic Acids Important?

How Are Linoleic and Linolenic Acids Important?

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Linoleic acid is found in safflower, soybean and corn oils.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Your body doesn't make every chemical you need to survive. Some come strictly from your diet. Scientists refer to such vitamins and minerals as "essential." The list of essential nutrients also includes two polyunsaturated substances: linolenic acid and linoleic acid. Most people know these chemicals as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You can get them by eating seeds, nuts and fish. Supplement makers also offer omega-3 and omega-6 in a pill form. They play an important role in keeping your body and mind healthy. Please speak with a doctor before changing your diet or taking a supplement.

Fatty Acids Increase Life Expectancy

Eating omega-3 fatty acids decreases your risk of dying from major diseases, according to a July 2018 report in the Journal of Internal Medicine. Interestingly, these effects follow a dose-response curve. The more omega-3 fatty acids you eat, the more you lower your risk of dying from any cause. Scientists have found similar results for omega-6 fatty acids. A March 2018 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at circulating omega-6 levels in thousands of men. The data showed that people with high omega-6 levels had a lower risk of dying from all diseases including cancer.

Fatty Acids Decrease Inflammation

The mechanism behind the significant increase in life expectancy associated with fatty acid intake remains unknown. Yet, it could relate to inflammation. Uncontrolled swelling contributes to Alzheimer's disease, heart disease and cancer. Omega-3 intake prevents inflammation and promotes healing, according to a January 2018 paper in Pharmacological Reviews. The authors of this study specifically looked at brain inflammation. Essential fatty acids, however, also suppress inflammation during wound healing. An April 2018 report in Mediators of Inflammation described how omega-6 fatty acids cause this effect. Like other essential nutrients, they control the inflammation in - and limit the decay of - the recovering area.

Fatty Acids Enhance Mood

The role of fatty acids in inflammation may explain their positive impact on mood, according to an August 2018 review in Experimental and Molecular Pathology. The authors of this paper speculate that keeping inflammation low may keep your mood positive. Animal research supports this idea. A September 2018 study published in the journal Nutrition showed that omega-3 intake prevents depression from developing in rats exposed to chronic stress. The ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids also affects your mental health. An August 2017 report in Translational Psychiatry tested the omega-6 and omega-3 ratio in at-risk youth. Results indicated that children with high levels of omega-6 and low levels of omega-3 remained at risk for depression throughout the seven-year study. Keeping a healthy balance of essential fatty acids reduces your risk.

Fatty Acids Reduce CVD Risk

Researchers have long suspected that the daily intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids improves your cardiovascular system. Yet, it remained unknown if fatty acid intake actually affects the health of your heart. An August 2018 paper in Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids looked at the relationship between fatty acids and cardiovascular disease, CVD. After reviewing many studies, the author concluded that people who eat larger amounts of fatty acids, both omega-3 and omega-6, have a smaller chance of getting heart disease. The data also showed that even better effects occurred when the participants replaced the saturated fat present in their diet with polyunsaturated fat which included omega-3 and omega-6. Thus, having enough essential fatty acids in your diet improves your health and well-being.


  1. Mochni

    It seems very good to me

  2. Walthari

    and how to find out - to pozon and run over?

  3. Ronal

    yes, it happens ...

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