Help me balance omega 3 and 6


#1

So I am planning on starting a DIY soon :smiley: and I wanted to do a mix between flaxseed and canola oil for my omegas. My goal is to get a 1:1 ratio between 3 and 6.

Could someone help me calculate how many % Canola oil I would need to use compared to how many % Flaxseed oil for getting a 1:1 of omega 3 and 6? (I suck at math)


#2

You want 4 parts Canola to 1 part Flax Seed Oil to get roughly 101:102 Omega 3 to Omega 6.


#3

Thanks! Can you show me how to calculate it for future reference?

Just so I am sure… That would be 20% flaxseed oil and 80% canola?


#4

Yes, 80%/20% is correct.

I thought there would be an easy algebraic solution, but was having trouble finding it, but I basically just added the canola oil values to the flax seed values until either the values were basically equal, or the Omega 6s overwhelmed the Omega 3s. In this case it was the former that happened not the later. I’m certain there is a way to do this mathematically, but the numbers were so small it was almost easier to just start adding one to the other.


#5

Cheater :wink:

O(mega)3 = O(mega)6

O3 = 0.11C(anola) + 0.57F(lax)

O6 = 0.21C + .18F

so,

0.11C + 0.57 F = 0.21C + .18F

solving for C,

C = 3.9F

but you were first…


#6

Ahh good thinking, I didn’t think about it like that :slight_smile: such a simple solution, that i knew but totally didn’t think about using


#7

@Tordenskjold, you are aware that the human body is incredibly inefficient at converting the Alpha-Linoleic Acid in flaxseed oil into the biologically useful omega-3 fatty acids? Only about 5% of it gets converted into EPA, and only about 0.5% gets converted into DHA. There really is no good plant substitute for fish oil.


#8

I was of cause not aware of this, could you post the source?

I want to make a mix that will work without fish out. I am sure it is relevant to vegans too (not that I am vegan)


#9

There’s a helpful discussion from the vegan perspective here. It concludes that limiting omega-6 FAs is important in order to prevent saturation of the enzymes that convert ALA to EPA. It’s also important to supplement DHA. .


#10

I was sooo close that, but I kept formulating it wrong. Thank you @LazyVegan!


#11

Separate from the issue of EPA and DHA conversion, there are two possible concerns with flax seed oil. One flax oil goes rancid very quickly and needs to be kept refrigerated in a dark bottle. You need to buy from a source that moves their stock quickly so you don’t have long storage times, and you can’t keep your mix for long once the oil is added. Secondly, some are concerned with the high levels of phytoestergens in flax seed oil. Occasional use of flax seed is one thing, but if it is a large daily component of your diet it might be of concern.

One solution to consider is adding Chia seeds to your mix. The seed will keep the oil from going bad, but unlike flax your stomach can digest Chia seeds so you don’t have to grind them. They have more omega3 than omega6 so they help pull your ratio back in the right direction.
Also keeping total omega6 low will help with the conversion and utilization of omega 3 so it might be useful to replace some of the canola oil with coconut oil or some MCT oil which some studies are showing helps the body lose visceral fat. The case against saturated fats seems to be coming under attack lately and many (paleo) are endorsing it.

Just food for thought. Good luck on your DIY.


#12

I was just doing this math and thought that this would be useful:
http://convert-to.com/547/canola-oil-conversion-and-nutritional-facts.html

If I use 3tb/canola oil/day (which I do, for 2 meals in my DIY) then that is 41.17g of canola oil/day.

41.17g canola oil @ 21% O6 and 11%O3 => 8.6g O6 and 4.5g O3

Which makes our O6/O3 ratio per day = ~1.91 which is roughly double what it ought to be.

Because fish oils are 100% O3, I think we can reasonably say that adding 4g of fish oils/day to 3tb of canola oil will move the ratio in the proper direction.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:


#13

Then what are fish oil’s %s like in that chart above, and where would it fit in that chart?


#14

I’m pretty sure fish oils are 100% omega 3 by weight.


#15

That would depend on what species of fish it is sourced from, but it is definitely not 100% Omega-3 by weight. Look at any over-the-counter fish oil supplement and you will see that while they will claim 1g of fish oil per capsule (or two), the nutrition label will only claim <300mg of combined EPA and DHA. There are brands of fish oil that are more concentrated however. I use a brand called Ocean Blue Professional 2100, which contains 1050mg of Omega-3 per capsule.


#16

You’re 100% correct. I am new to this and foolishly didn’t look into my supplement with a critical eye. Each pill in my fish oil bottle was 1000mg and it read “Omega 3 Fish Oil Blend: 1000mg” - somewhat deceptive, because I had to read the extra fine print of what the DHA and EPA amounts were.


#17

Is it any surprise that so many people are mis-nourished? Even when we consciously make the effort to make good choices, the labels are misleading or even downright deceptive.

With a label that prominently claims “Omega 3 Fish Oil Blend: 1000mg” it’s logical for the consumer to understand that it contains 1000mg of omega 3 fish oil (perhaps from a “blend” of different fish, if the word “blend” is even noticed).

It’s as bad as the beverages labeled “Juice Drink” that contain only a trifling fraction of juice. (Well, maybe not quite as bad, but same principle of deception.)


#18

Granted its an old post but its an interesting topic :smile:

Here are the sources that ALA is not effectively (only single digit percentages) converted in the human body into EPA/DHA. But SDA is more effectively converted. You could try hemp oil that has more SDA than others.

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/139/1/5.long

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22064208.

It also has more GLA omega-6 that is more anti-inflammatory than other omega-6’s.

But since hemp oil too has high PUFA’s like flaxseed the same precautions to prevent it from getting oxidised and turning rancid apply. But it doesnt have the phytoestrogens of flax seed oil like @materialsguy said. But @materialsguy, chia have high manganese in them. So its better to stay away from them.

Hemp oil alone has 3:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 or 1:3 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 :smile: So you could try combining hemp oil with something else to get the 1:1 ratio.


#19

Do you have more info on this @Tark? I really liked being able to drop the flax seeds when I found chia seeds. It also helps that I don’t have to grind them beforehand, unlike flax the stomach can digest chia seeds whole.

I realize how wrong labels can be and I just copied the ‘Bob’s red mill chia seeds’ from another source, but according to the recipe editor the 15g of chia seeds I use give me 2.7g of omega 3 or almost 1/3 of my total. It only gives like .4mg of manganese which is 5% of my total. So unless those numbers are way off it doesn’t seem like the manganese is too bad. Am I missing something here?


#20

According to wikipedia, 100 gms of dried chia seeds have equivalent to 130% of RDA. So i think you should be fine with the amount you are using.