Pain and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

By January 12, 2018Uncategorized

American Academy of Pain Management Weiner’s Pain Management
A Practical Guide for Clinicians Seventh Edition, 2006, pp.584-585 Edited by Mark Boswell and B. Eliot Cole

“Changes in the modern diet are largely responsible for the increasing incidence of essential fatty acid (EFA) imbalances and deficiencies.”

“The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats has changed dramatically due to the widespread use of vegetable oils (mostly n-6 fats) in cooking and to the processing of oils to alter omega-3 fats to improve shelf life and eliminate their stronger taste (just think of the distinctive tastes of cod liver or flax oil).”

“Historical estimates place the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 oils at nearly 1:1 for prehistoric humans.”

By the turn of the century (1900), the ratio had increased to about 4:1. The current American ratio is about 25:1.

“The sharp rise is due to increased vegetable oil consumption: from 2 lb. per year in 1909 to 25 lb. per year in 1985!”

“Many of the chronic inflammatory conditions that accompany EFA imbalance are currently treated with symptom-specific pharmaceutical drugs such as steroids, prednisone, aspirin, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), sulfasalazine, and colchicine.”

“The problem with such drug therapies is that they prevent the formation of ‘good’ anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, or they shift the production of one type of eicosanoid to another.”

“For effective, long-term management, eicosanoid production should be modified through dietary changes (balancing dietary intake of specific fats) and controlling insulin levels in the circulation.”

“Maintaining a proper balance between the various families of dietary fats may be one of the most important preventative measures a person can take to reduce the likelihood of developing one of the chronic diseases of modern civilization, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, and autoimmune disease.”

“And for patients who may already have one of these diseases, EFA testing and therapy has been demonstrated to reduce both morbidity and mortality associated with these diseases.”

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Edie Bushnell

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