GLA, the Anti-Inflammatory Omega 6 and the Endocannabinoid System

January 26, 2016

There is a lot of focus on the balance of omega 6 to omega 3 intake with 'the-ECS' philosophy as well as other schools of thought. The theory follows that a majority of omega 6 that we ingest through our foods can be inflammatory when overabundant. However, there is another...


GLA is an omega 6 fatty acid that is highly anti-inflammatory, unlike the omega 6 AA (Arachidonic Acid) and LA (Linoleic acid) that makeup the majority of the western diet. GLA is found primarily in borage evening primrose, black currant seeds, and HEMP.


Hemp has a great fatty acid profile as it contains omega 3 ALA and omega 6 LA in a good 1 to 3 balance. It also contains omega 3 SDA and omega 6 GLA, which we know to be anti-inflammatory.


Since hemp also contains "cannabinoids" that are not found anywhere else in nature, it is an ideal food to be consuming on a daily basis. Hemp is best looked at as a preventative type of food. Hemp is not proven to treat disease by itself, unlike the cannabis plant, but it will help in staving off diseases that are of an inflammatory nature in a preventative manner.


So, the idea of proper omega 3 and 6 balance of 1 to 3 is accurate, but we must remember that certain omega 6 are anti-inflammatory. Also, most commonly eaten foods contain the potentially inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids and therefore a focus on the balance as a rule of thumb is a good idea.


Remember, omega 6 LA competes with omega 3 EPA/DHA for an enzyme to breakdown. This is why the balance is so key as we need these omega 3s for many different health functions in our body.




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