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Omega 3 to 6 balance

by (60)
Updated November 21, 2014 at 3:38 AM
Created August 07, 2012 at 1:48 PM

My in laws just bought half a cow (corn fed) and is giving me a quarter at no cost. No way am I turning down that much free meat so I have been looking frantically trying to find an answer. If you are trying to keep a 2:1 6/3 ratio, wouldn't I just take more fish oil pills or flax oil when I eat this meat to bring the ratio closer? I really just want to if it's that simple or am I looking at it wrong. Also am I missing any good high omega 3 low 6 sources? Fish oil pills, flax seed oil. I've read about krill oil but not sure idiots as good.

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971 · August 07, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I've been making random typing "slips" lately, that one's pretty funny...."idiots" instead of "it's".

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1644 · August 07, 2012 at 2:30 PM

A certain amount of EFAs are necessary (hence "essential"), but you're very right that most paleo experts (experts on paleo or experts that are paleo? Oh English.) stress balance.

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2 Answers

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41548 · August 07, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Cows aren't a significant source of PUFAs (when grain-fed) or omega-3s (even when grass-fed). Don't sweat grain-fed cow.

A 2:1 O6:3 ratio is very aggressive, probably requiring a significant supplementation regimen. You could easily do 5:1 to 10:1 using whole foods without supplementation. It's the quality and the condition of the fats that matters as much as the type. Whole foods aren't damaged, processed and oxidized.

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26182 · August 07, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Matt, this is one of the questions that The Nutrition Science Initiative (once they get off the ground) has talked about tackling. There is significant debate raging in the academic world as to whether the ratio or the magnitude of O3 consumption matters most.

Some argue that they body needs a certain amount of O3 consumption -- regardless of the O6 consumption -- and that simply taking proper O3 supplements is enough to reap the benefits of O3 for inflammation and stroke prevention. There are some clinical studies that seem to support this hypothesis.

Most, however, argue that the body is a system of balances, and ratios are far more important to determine whether your body is in a proper state of homeostasis. Most of the experts in the Paleo world seem to fall into this category. All of the observational studies support this hypothesis, however critics would say that's just happenstance (i.e. cultures which consume signification O3 just happen to have better ratios and eat less O6) and there's not enough evidence to look at a population with high ratio and high O3 consumption.

My suggestion, keep the meat, and balance it out with some Surf N' Turf meals! Then suggest to your in-laws that they find a cow-pool from a grass fed farm -- http://www.eatwild.com/.

Corn Fed (or finished) organic meat is still a lot better than most of the stuff you can get in the supermarket.

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1644 · August 07, 2012 at 2:30 PM

A certain amount of EFAs are necessary (hence "essential"), but you're very right that most paleo experts (experts on paleo or experts that are paleo? Oh English.) stress balance.

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