Omega-6 fatty acids

Synonyms: n-6 fatty acids

Medical Specialties: Cardiology, Family practice, Internal medicine


Clinical Definition

Omega-6 fatty acids, or n-6 fatty acids, are polyunsaturated, essential fatty acids that must be gotten from food. Found in some vegetables oils, nuts and seeds, omega-6s along with omega-3 fatty acids have a crucial role in cerebral function and normal growth and development.


In Our Own Words

Omega-6 fatty acids, also called n-6 fatty acids, are considered essential and must be gotten from the diet because the body cannot produce them. Found in some vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, omega-6 fatty acids are viewed as heart healthy if intake is limited to five or ten percent of total calories. Experts are not as certain of benefits with omega-6 as they are with omega-3, however omega-6 in moderation may help heart health and other conditions. The diet usually supplies enough omega-6 fatty acids, making supplements unnecessary for most healthy people.

Relevant Conditions
  • Coronary artery disease (heart disease)
Common Types
  • Linoleic acid (LA)
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