Benefits of Omega-6 / Omega-3 Balance and Role of Polyphenols

I will start this page with a disclaimer about health claims in this Article. As this home page and its author was born in Europe, I will refer to the health claims of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of the European Union concerning omega 6 / omega 3 balance, optimal levels of omega-3 and other nutrition values. Statements in this Article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). None of the products listed or mentioned should be used as a substitute for medical advice, or to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness.

cropped-Logo-Omega_apaljais_gaisaks.pngHowever, when I was searching information on benefits of omega-6 / omega-3 balance on Internet, Google gave me 9 million results mostly confirming its beneficial impact on various health aspects. A lot of scientific studies have been carried out on this topic as well, so you can find them in PubMed databases or in other sources.

Neither EFSA is rich in health claims about omega-3 and balance issues. But these few ones are very important as recognize larger daily doses of omega-3 fatty acids EPS and DHS as safe in daily usage. Most of fish oil producers recommend intake of about 1 g of omega 3 (EPS+DHS) or less daily, but they do not take into account the fact of dietary shift during the last 60 years and huge intake of omega-6 nowadays. It is no more possible to outbalance these huge amounts of omega-6 with one or two omega-3 capsules per day. Nowadays we need at least 2.5 g of omega-3 daily to reach omega-6 / omega-3 ratio of 3:1 or better.

And my own experience validates these claims as I saw me, my family members and friends getting much better health conditions after reaching omega-6 / omega-3 balance.

Photo - Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from Pexels
Photo – Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from Pexels

EFSA approved health claims for Omega-3 (EPA and DHA)

  • DHA and EPA contribute to the normal function of the heart (0.25 g per day)
  • DHA and EPA contribute to the maintenance of normal blood pressure (3 g per day)
  • DHA and EPA contribute to the maintenance of normal blood triglyceride levels (2 g per day)
  • DHA contributes to maintenance of normal blood triglyceride levels (2 g per day in combination with EPA)
  • DHA contributes to maintenance of normal brain function (0.25 g per day)
  • DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal vision (0.25 g per day)
  • DHA maternal intake contributes to the normal eye and brain development of the fetus and breastfed infants (0.2 g DHA plus the daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA+DHA for adults which is 0.25 g per day).

Summarizing – Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are essential for healthy heart and circulation system, brain and vision.

Photo - Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from Pixabay
Photo – Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from Pixabay

The Benefits Being in Balance 3:1 or better

Our genetic structure and food requirements haven’t changed much since the stone age, but food has changed considerably. Excessive amounts of omega-6 and a very high omega-6 / omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote development of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 and a low omega-6 / omega-3 ratio exert suppressive effects.

Thus we need as low omega-6 / omega-3 ratio as possible to protect ourselves from modern lifestyle diseases. A lot of studies give evidence also that symptoms of chronic degenerative diseases diminish, when omega-6 / omega-3 ratio is getting closer to ideal one 1:1. See examples in the table below:

Omega-6 / Omega-3 Balance Result
23:1

12:1
Average ratio for US citizens who don't use any omega-3 supplements*
Average ratio for European citizens who don't use any omega-3 supplements*
14:1

7:1
Average ratio for US citizens who use regular omega-3 supplements*
Average ratio for European citizens who use regular omega-3 supplements*
4:1 70% decrease in total mortality from cardiovascular disease**
10:1
5:1
Adverse consequences for patients with asthma**
Beneficial effect on patients with asthma**
2-3:1 Suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis**
4:1
2.5:1
No effect on cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer**
Reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer**
*Source – Omega-6 / omega-3 ratio tatistics from Zinzino's Balance tests
** Source – Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79.

These studies indicate that the optimal ratio may vary with the disease under consideration. This is consistent with the fact that chronic diseases are multigenic and multifactorial. Therefore, it is quite possible that the therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids will depend on the degree of severity of disease resulting from the genetic predisposition. A lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies.

For health protection we need to get a good omega-6 / omega-3 balance at ratio 3:1 or better – from eating fatty fish and/or using omega-3 supplements. Once we have got a good balance, we need to maintain it for a lifetime. As food nowadays is so low in omega-3 fatty acids, it might mean that omega-3 supplements should be used lifetime as well.

Photo - Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from Pexels
Photo – Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from Pexels

What Polyphenols Have to Do with Omega-3?

Polyphenols are plant-based molecules that have antioxidant and thus natural anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols are available in a wide variety of unprocessed raw vegetables and fruits including olives and Extra Virgin olive oil. Omega-3 is an essential fatty-acid with natural anti-inflammatory properties. If used together, both may have synergistic and naturally strong anti-inflammatory effect.

Zinzino’s BalanceOil – Quality + Synergy = Results

BalanceOil is more than just a fish oil. Scientists have formulated BalanceOil for results. This includes selecting the species of wild fish with attention to content of EPA and DHA (bio-active omega-3 essential fatty acids), then synergistic combination with a special, high-quality high-polyphenol olive oil. This formulation, plus use as recommended, is why BalanceOil and BalanceShake help adjust the omega-6:3 ratio to optimal levels for balance.

Wild Fish Oil – wild fish oil, containing sardines, anchovies and mackerel, comes from a leading manufacturer in Iceland. Iceland specializes in fisheries and 70% of its economy relates to fish in some way. The manufacturer of BalanceOil meets all regulatory requirements for production and follows GMPs (Good Management Practices) for food and pharmaceuticals. Products are GMO-free (i.e. free of genetically modified organisms).

Quality Olive Oil – BalanceOil contains a special cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil known for a high-content of anti-oxidant polyphenols. (Refined oils extracted from olive fruits by heat or solvents lack the same quality.) The antioxidant content of BalanceOil helps protect against destructive oxidation of fatty acids when exposed to oxygen in the air. This synergistic blend also helps insure maximum absorption and benefit.

Proof of Balance in 120 Days – St. Olavs University Hospital of Norway and leading laboratories tested 86.026 people (4504 from the USA) as of September 2015. The average Omega 6:3 ratio for those not taking an Omega-3 supplement was 12.4:1 (31.4:1 for the USA). The ratio was 7.1:1 for those taking an Omega 3 supplement (18.5:1 in the USA). Of 3,828 people who took BalanceOil for 120 days, the average ratio was 3.4:1 (326 people in the USA showed a ratio of 4.0:1). On average using BalanceOil as recommended has reduced the Omega 6:3 ratio to near 3:1. Source: BioActive Foods, AS, Oslo, Norway.

References

  1. Home page of BioActiveFoods AS – a company that produces Zinzino Balance products. You will find a lot of valuable information about importance of Omega 6/Omega 3 balance, and a list of scientific literature and studies behind claims in the Article above.
  2. Home page of Zinzino AB – a Swedish company that makes available all the great Zinzino Balance products in the USA, Canada and selected countries in Europe.
  3. ZinzinoTest page – those who have made a blood test for themselves can find their test results, see their Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio and other indicators in their fatty acid profiles, as well as can read all the scientific summary on how cell membranes work and what is the role of fatty acids measured in our bodies. And – your test results will show you whether your diet is balanced or unbalanced in terms of essential fatty acids.
  4. Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79.