Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio and Chronic Pain

Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio Research

Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio

This research paper examines the associations between the Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio and the risk of developing autoimmune diseases.


Until about 100 years ago, the omega-6/3 ratio was around 4:1 or less. However, the typical Western diet now provides an omega-6/3 ratio of approximately 20:1 in favour of omega-6. This predisposes to supraphysiologic inflammatory responses and perpetuates chronic low-grade inflammation.

The overconsumption of linoleic acid, mainly from industrial omega-6 seed oils, and the lack of long-chain omega-3s in the diet creates a pro-inflammatory, pro-allergic, pro-thrombotic state. Reducing the omega-6/3 ratio, particularly through reductions in the intake of refined omega-6 seed oil, and increasing the intake of marine omega-3s, either through dietary means or supplementation, may be an effective strategy for reducing inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune reactions.