Is omega-6/omega-3 imbalance at the root of obesity?

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According to a French study, an excess of omega-6 type fatty acids, combined with a shortage of omega-3, may favor the transmission of obesity from generation to generation. In France, various studies have shown that there is a significant imbalance in this respect.

The French National Agency for Health Safety, Food and the Environment recommends a ratio of five parts omega-6 fatty acids to only one part omega-3. With a ratio of 15 omega-6 parts to 1 omega-3, the French come up short on average, but with a ratio of 40 to 1, Americans are far worse.

Researchers at the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) exposed four generations of mice to a Western-style diet. They then observed a progressive increase in the rodents’ adipose tissue. This continued over several generations.

So where does one find omega-3 and omega-6? Omega-3 is found mainly in linseed, rapeseed and oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. Omega-6 is found in maize, which is itself consumed in large quantities by farm animals, which in turn become part of the human diet. In fact, half the lipids humans consume come from meat and dairy products.

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