Omega 3 6 9: Know the Difference Between These Fatty Acids

Omega 3 6 9
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

In order to differentiate the fatty acids, we will define all of them first.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for our body and maintaining a proper metabolism. However, we are not able to produce Omega-3 and that is why it is important to include it in our diet.
  • Omega 6 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are also crucial to maintaining the normal metabolism and our body’s functions.
  • Omega 9 fatty acids aren’t crucial to our body because we are able to create it (in smaller amounts). This fatty acid is the most abundant one in our body.

The primary difference between these fatty acids is in their type, Omega-3 and Omega-6 are polyunsaturated, while Omega-9 is monounsaturated. Then, we can define them by their importance in our body. Even though Omega-9 is the most common fatty acid in our body, it is not as crucial as Omega-3 and Omega-6 because our body is able to produce it, while the only way to have Omega-3 and Omega-6 in our organism is by taking them in our diet or via supplements.

Another difference is in their effects on our body. Omega-9 has no recorded serious side effects on our body, while high doses of Omega-3 can cause gas, diarrhea, and bleeding. Side effects of Omega-6 include cough, bleeding, or coughing up blood, irregular heartbeat and rash on the skin.
 
 

The Difference Between Omega 3-6-9

OMEGA 3-6-9 Differences
Omega 3 Omega 6 Omega 9
Known As: polyunsaturated polyunsaturated monounsaturated
Definition: Essential fatty acid, with a double bond at a third atom of carbon from the end of the carbon chain. Anti-inflammatory fatty acid with carbon double bond on the n-6 place, sixth bond from the methyl end. Fatty acid with a double carbon-carbon bond on the n-9 position from the methyl end.
Source: Oils: soybean, canola, flax.
Nuts: walnuts.
Fish: tuna, salmon, trout, herring, mackerel.
Other: Omega-3 eggs, algae.
Oils: corn, olive, canola, peanut, safflower, soybean, sunflower.
Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts.
Other: eggs.
Oils: canola, olive, peanut oil, safflower, sunflower, chia seed oil, sesame oil.
Nuts: walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts.
Other: avocado, eggs, peanut butter.
Type: ALA – alpha-lionelic acid;
EPA – eicosapentaeonic acid;
DHA – docosahexaeonic acid.
LA – lionelic acid;
AA – Archidonic acid.
Oleic acid;
Mead acid;
Erucic acid;
Nervonic acid;
Elaidic acid;
Gondoic acid.
Health Benefits: Brain development, heart health, mood, cognition, cholesterol, reduced* risk of chronic diseases, decreased* risk of cancer, and prevents Alzheimer’s disease. Heart health, cholesterol. Cholesterol, heart health, blood sugar control, no constipation, helps with allergies, anxiety, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, blood pressure, skin disorders, and muscular diseases.

Conclusion

Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids have different purposes, the latter one represents a different type of fatty acids but they all need one another in order to work properly.

For a normal level of Omega-9 fatty acid, there has to be a normal level of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well, or our body wouldn’t be able to produce it.

The main difference between the above mentioned fatty acids is in the type (polyunsaturated or monounsaturated), but the one thing is common – they are all beneficial and highly important for our body’s development.

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.