Is Omega-3 Or Omega-6 An Anti-Inflammatory?

Is Omega-3 Or Omega-6 An Anti-Inflammatory?

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can be highly beneficial for our health due to their extensive capabilities to support the healthy function of our body. This includes being able to support not just our heart and brain health, as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids can also boost our overall immunity! Now there are several significant differences between the benefits and what omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids can do for our health and body but overall, when combined, they can provide the body with all the essential nutrients it needs. Our body cannot, on its own, create the essential fatty acids it needs. Therefore, supplementing omega-3 and 6 via our daily diet is vital as the fatty acids are required to maintain healthy growth and support the body's development. Omega-9 fatty acids can be made, internally, by the body using various nutrients as its source. That is why only omega-3 and 6 are considered the most important to consume as part of your daily diet; their health benefits speak for themselves. Especially when it comes to recovery, supporting the body and reducing inflammation… 

Which omega oil is believed to be a natural anti-inflammatory?

The omega oil that is believed to be the (best) natural anti-inflammatory is omega-3! More specifically, the two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish oil, are said to be the best natural anti-inflammatory. The two fatty acids responsible for reducing inflammation (which we have mentioned several times in previous blog posts) are eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Now, if those fatty acids look unfamiliar to you at first, you may have seen these fatty acids abbreviated to EPA and DHA. They are the short names of the same two essential fatty acids that make omega-3 fish oil a natural anti-inflammatory! EPA and DHA fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation (that could be the cause of pain or swelling) and can also be useful in managing autoimmune diseases. 

Why is it important to use omega-3 to reduce inflammation? 

Any signs of internal inflammation inside the body should be taken seriously, and not left untreated! Inflammation of any kind can develop and contribute to further health complications if left unchecked and untreated. Untreated inflammation, over time, can contribute to several serious health conditions and diseases including the following: 

  • Chronic diseases like heart disease and blood vessel disease.
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Various types of cancer
  • Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive/ mental conditions.

If the body is left overpopulated with inflammation, then the immune system is going to be put under large amounts of pressure that again can be a catalyst to several health conditions. Immune system cells responsible for causing inflammation can contribute to unhealthy fatty deposits in the lining of the heart’s arteries; therefore, inflammation can quite literally affect the heart! Not only can untreated inflammation affect the function of our organs (like our heart and brain) it can also affect our mood as well as cause a significant amount of pain. The pain and health conditions that untreated inflammation can be responsible for can be debilitating enough, not to add the adverse effects it can have on our mental health! The entire body is put under a significantly large amount of pressure when inflammation is not treated or managed! Managing your inflammation could be as simple as ensuring you have a stable and balanced amount of omega-3 fatty acids as part of your daily diet; via high-quality omega-3 supplements or from foods. 

How long does omega-3 take to reduce inflammation? 

If you are now wondering how long, exactly, it takes for the fatty acids in omega-3 fish oil to reduce inflammation then this is what we shall be exploring now…

High, (but still safe) levels of omega-3 can build up quickly inside the body once you take supplements especially! After consumption, the body can also begin processing and absorbing the fatty acids from fish oil in foods or supplements. Omega-3 can begin working to support cognitive function, improve memory and improve heart health quite quickly, although long-term benefits might take longer to develop. This can be the same rule for inflammation (on a sizeable scale) as it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to notice a significant change in your mood or pain symptoms associated with inflammation! However, that does not mean that it’ll take six months, in most instances, for your inflammation to reduce significantly. The time the fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in fish oil take depends heavily on the level of omega-3 you are consuming as well as the quality of the source; whether that be from foods or supplements. 

Can omega-6 be an anti-inflammatory?

Now, believe it or not, omega-3 fish oil is not the only omega oil source that can be a natural anti-inflammatory for the body! It is believed that omega-6 has high levels of PUFA, particularly arachidonic acid. High omega-6 PUFA can be associated with inflammation as ARA (arachidonic acid) is the chemical compound responsible for prompting the ‘resolution’ of inflammation in the body! Therefore omega-6, in itself, has an essential fatty acid ARA that can help prompt the body to improve inflammation; in other words, omega-6 can help the body reduce inflammation. To clarify, whilst both omega-3 and 6 can have anti-inflammatory properties; both omegas are important for the body for many other reasons. However, if inflammation is something you are looking for support with, then omega-3 fish oil is known to have the right balance of the best anti-inflammatory fatty acids! 

If you need more information on omega-3, 6 or 9 then check out our Health Insider Blog catalogue; filled with posts exploring the three types of omega in-depth, everything from their benefits to their uncommon side effects. We have also dedicated a lot of attention to foods you can add to your diet that are also rich in omega-3,6 and 9; just in case you are interested in finding out how much natural omega you may already be consuming as part of your daily diet. You can also send our team a DM on Instagram if you require additional support with a personal query.