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.
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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||Omega 6||Omega 9|
|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.
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.
|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.
|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.|
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.