Cholesterol Advice

Omega-6 and Controlling Cholesterol- How Successful Is It?

People who have total cholesterol levels (LDL and HDL cholesterol) exceeding 200 mg/dL face an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. Hence, they need to lower down their cholesterol levels within manageable proportions. Omega-6 as well as omega-3 fatty acids can help them do this.

Cholesterol- Why Is It Bad?
By itself, cholesterol is never bad. As a matter of fact, the liver produces it to create vitamin D, hormones, and other similar things. Whatever amount of cholesterol is required, the body fulfills it. Hence, cholesterol as such is not harmful. Cholesterol which is harmful is called dietary cholesterol. This is that cholesterol which is obtained by us through animal products.

Increased consumption of dietary cholesterol increases the total cholesterol in the body. Increased level of blood cholesterol then creates the risk of developing pulmonary heart diseases.

How To Reduce Total Cholesterol in the Body?
Reduction of cholesterol is an absolute must if we want to live a healthy life. While it is easier to say this, staying away from animal products such as meat, poultry, dairy products, and sea food is very difficult. The best we can do is to minimize their consumption. However, at times this is not sufficient and some amount of cholesterol does get accumulated inside the body.

In such cases, we need to take recourse to things which could help lower cholesterol. Omega-6 fatty acids belong to this category of substances which help us lower our blood cholesterol. Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid which is also otherwise known as Linoleic acid. These are called "essential" because our body can not make them. The best sources of Omega-6 are polyunsaturated fats such as corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil.

Good Things About Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Apart from minimizing risk of development of pulmonary heart disease through reduction in cholesterol levels, Omega-6 fatty acids can also help treat ailments and allergies, anorexia nervosa, ADHD, cancer, certain skin conditions, diabetes, eye disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis.

Are There Any Side-effects of Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids?
Scientific research has indicated that Omega-6 essential fatty acid has its share of negative effects on the body. Excessive consumption of this fatty acid and, especially, an imbalance between levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can lead to development of different types of pulmonary heart diseases.

What is of more concern is that the quantity of Omega-6 essential fatty acids consumed in average American diets has increased at least 10 times in the last 50 years. Hence, though Omega-6 can help control cholesterol, the advantage is being frittered away by its excessive consumption by the American citizens.