Assistant professor, Sanjoy Ghosh, of UBC’s Oakanagan Campus has determined that taking omega 3-rich fish oil supplements could be harmful if there are increased levels of omega 6 in the body. With increased health consciousness, people are consuming healthier oils, such as corn and canola oils – rich in omega 6. Ghosh’s discovery has uncovered that with too much omega 6 in the system, omega 3 can potentially have negative effects.
Ghosh states that today’s healthier diets promote a greater intake of polyunsaturated fats and less intake of the saturated fats found in butter or cheese. She argues that there needs to be a greater balance of the omegas in our systems for the omega 3 to be beneficial.
“Our hypothesis is that levels of omega 6 are so high in our bodies that any more unsaturated fatty acid — even omega 3, despite its health benefits — will actually contribute to the negative effects omega 6 PUFA have on the heart and gut,” said Ghosh. “When there is too much [polyunsaturated fatty acid], the body doesn’t know what to do with it.”
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