The omega-3/omega-6 FA ratio

As already described above the balance between those two antagonistic groups of PUFA is determining to a large extent the total inflammatory activity of the body. If equal parts of omega-3 and omega-6 FAs (omega-3/omega-6 ratio 1.1) are present a mild, but sufficient inflammatory response to injury can be predicted. Because of the heavy use of omega-6 FA rich oils and fats and a lack of fish consumption in most Western countries an extreme change of this ratio has occurred during the past three to four decades. We now have a twenty to fifty fold excess of omega6 over omega-3 FAs in most individuals in Western societies leading to exaggerated inflammatory responses to injury.
In addition, the severity of chronic inflammatory diseases such as allergies, arthritis and atherosclerosis is more pronounced in those individuals.In order to restore the original balance between omega-3 and omega-6 FAs the intake of omega-3 FAs has to increase, while the stores of omega-6 FAs in the body should be drastically reduced.