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Omega 3 and Omega 6 FAMEs

Essential fats are nutrients that must be obtained from the diet because humans lack the anabolic processes for their synthesis. Essential fats serve multiple purposes in the body including:
  • Production of eicosanoids, which affect inflammation and cellular function.
  • Production of lipoxins and resolvins, which affect inflammation.
  • Production of endogenous cannabinoids, which affect mood and behavior.
  • Influencing cell signaling.
  • Regulation of blood pressure, blood clotting, lipid levels, immune response, and gene expression.

There are two closely related groups of essential fats, the omega 3 and the omega 6 fatty acids. Both are unsaturated fatty acids, with the initial double bond located directly after the third (omega 3) or the sixth (omega 6) carbon atom as measured from the methyl end. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and some nut oils. Seed oils are the primary dietary source of omega 6 fatty acids.

Before the advent of agriculture, human diets were thought to have consisted of an equal amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. In contrast, the current western diet has a 1:7 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. Low levels of omega 3 fatty acids, or an altered ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids, may play a key role in a number of human diseases:
  • Increased consumption of omega 3 fatty acids has been linked with reducing coronary heart disease.
  • An excess of omega 6 fatty acids can interfere with the health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, and has also been linked with several detrimental health conditions.

As a result of consumers′ desire to have ′healthier fat′ in the diet, the analysis of the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid content of food products is a very active area of research for many food companies.

The omega 3 and omega 6 FAMEs may have very similar physical (such as boiling point) and chemical (such as chain length) properties as other FAMEs that may be present in the sample. Therefore, specialized GC columns with the ability to resolve these specific FAMEs are required for proper identification. Our Omegawax columns provide highly reproducible analyses, being specially tested for reproducible resolution of key FAMEs.

Technical Articles:
Ionic Liquid GC Column Option for the Analysis of Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
GC Analysis of Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Fish Oil Capsules and Farm Raised Salmon