There has been considerable controversy about the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid – it’s an essential fatty acid for the human diet, to be sure, but do we eat too much? Is the proposed excess causing chronic inflammation with its attendant long term consequences of heart attacks, strokes, and maybe even dementia? A recent editorial coauthored by Dr. William Harris (President of OmegaQuant Analytics) and his long time colleague Dr. Gregory Shearer (Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State) published in the prestigious journal “Circulation” (the flagship publication of the American Heart Association) addressed this question in its comments upon a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health. The Harvard researchers compared the long-term risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) events (like heart attacks) and CHD death to the reported amount of linoleic acid in each person’s diet. The latter was gathered from a variety of validated food intake questionnaires. In the end, based on data from 13 studies with over 310,000 people followed for between 5 and 30 years for CHD, they concluded that those who ate the lowest amounts of linoleic acid were at about 18% higher risk for any CHD event and 27% higher risk for dying from CHD compared with those who ate the highest amounts of linoleic acid. The accompanying editorial expanded upon these findings and explained why the “omega-6 is bad” theory rests on such shaky grounds. Higher (vs lower) intakes of BOTH the omegas – 3 and 6 – is good for heart health.  Links to both articles are found below.

Dietary Linoleic Acid & Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies

Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Friend or Foe?




These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This test is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent or mitigate any disease. This site does not offer medical advice, and nothing contained herein is intended to establish a doctor/patient relationship. OmegaQuant, LLC is regulated under the Clinical Laboratory improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and is qualified to perform high complexity clinical testing. The performance characteristics of this test were determined by OmegaQuant, LLC. It has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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