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Reduce Inflammation by Improving Your  Omega-3:Omega-6 Ratio

Jan 23rd 2024

Reduce Inflammation by Improving Your Omega-3:Omega-6 Ratio

Inflammation is a major factor in pain and in all kinds of disease from arthritis to allergies, heart disease, obesity, neurodegenerative brain disease and more (see Inflammation: a Common Denominator of Disease).  And one of the primary causes of inflammation is an imbalance in the modern diet between two types of fats called omega-3s and omega-6s.

These two fats are sometimes referred to together as the “essential fatty acids.” They are “essential” because our bodies can’t make them, so it’s essential that we get them from either food or supplements. 

Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, while most omega-6s are pro-inflammatory. The typical modern diet provides far too few omega-3s and way too many inflammatory omega-6s.  To make matters worse, those omega-6s are usually from toxic, processed vegetable oils.  Processing these omega-6 oils damages them, often converting them into dangerous trans fats, while contaminating them with added toxins. 

Omega-3s come primarily from fatty seafood, like salmon and anchovies, and some come from vegetable sources like flaxseeds, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables. Omega-6s are plentiful in animal foods, nuts and seeds, but the major source of imbalance in the modern diet comes from processed oils, which now have a central place in the American diet. So much so, that the ratio of omega-3:omega-6, which should ideally be between 1:1 and 1:4, is usually around 1:20, and sometimes as high as 1:50!

To address this problem, Beyond Health recommends replacing processed, supermarket oils with raw nuts and seeds and cold-pressed, organic oils, and greatly reducing, if not eliminating, all processed foods. We also recommend increasing your omega-3 oil consumption and taking an omega-3 supplement.

Our foundational essential fatty acid (EFA) supplement is the Beyond Health EFA Formula, which has an omega-3:omega-6 ratio of 4:1. It includes omega-6s in healthy and pure forms, and it includes another category of fatty acids, omega-9 fats.  Although omega-9s (which are found primarily in olive oil) aren’t “essential,” they have additional health benefits and help the body utilize the EFAs. 

This formula was designed to supplement a healthy diet in a healthy person.  Most people, however, are in need of an “oil change.”  Oils stay in your body a long time, and to change an omega-3:omega-6 imbalance can sometimes take years.  To make a successful “oil change,” you’ll need to take an additional omega-3 supplement. We suggest either our Beyond Health Fish Oil Formula or Professional Cod Liver Oil.

To learn your omega-3:omega-6 ratio, take the Omega-3 Index Complete Test, available from Great Plains Laboratory.  It analyses all the fatty acids in a red blood cell. Since red blood cells have an average life of 120 days, you get a picture of your status over time.  A health practitioner must order this test for you, and it isn’t reimbursable through Medicare. However, it appears that Dr. Joseph Mercola offers the same or a similar test for $50, and it can be ordered from him online. 

Dr. William Harris, PhD and colleagues, who developed the test, have analyzed blood samples from a wide range of people suffering from different diseases.  They’ve discovered that an omega-3 percentage of less than 4% is associated with a high risk of disease, 4-8% with an intermediate risk, and 8% and above with low risk.   


1.     Francis R. The Oil Crisis.  Reprinted from Beyond Health News, 2003 at

2.     Mercola J. An interview with Dr. William Harris about Omega-3, undated, accessed August 6, 2020




Information contained in NewsClips articles should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.