Omega-6 Fatty Acid

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Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Omega-6s) are polyunsaturated fats with a double bond at the sixth carbon atom from the end of the carbon chain. As omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet, the term "omega-6" denotes the double bond occurring six carbons from the end.

Types of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Fats are categorized by the number of carbons in them, the number of double bonds, and the placement of the double bonds in their chemical structures. Omega-6s are notated as "n-6."

The following are all omega-6s:

Ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acids

A 2013 study by Washington State University research Charles Benbrook (who is also on the Science Advisory Board of the Organic Center) and others found that "organic milk contained 25% less ω-6 fatty acids and 62% more ω-3 fatty acids than conventional milk, yielding a 2.5-fold higher ω-6/ω-3 ratio in conventional compared to organic milk (5.77 vs. 2.28)" and that "dairy products supply far more α-linolenic acid than seafoods, about one-third as much [[eicosapentaenoic acid, and slightly more docosapentaenoic acid, but negligible docosahexaenoic acid."[1]

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References

  1. Charles Benbrook, Gillian Butler, Maged A. Latif, Carlo Leifert, and Donald R. Davis, Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition: A United States–Wide, 18-Month Study, PLoS ONE 8(12): e82429, December 9, 2013.