Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in sunflower, safflower, soy, sesame, and corn oils. The average diet provides plenty of omega-6 fatty acids, so supplements are usually not necessary.
Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, and normal growth and development. As a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), omega-6s help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the reproductive system.
Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of fat that is present in certain foods and supplements. Omega-6 fatty acids occur naturally in certain plant foods, such as vegetables and nuts. Some vegetable oils, including soybean oil, contain high amounts of these fats.
Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that perform essential functions in the human body. The most abundant member of this family in food and in the body is linoleic acid. Other members include gamma-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid. Linoleic acid is considered an essential fatty acid since it cannot be synthesized by the body. However, other members of the omega-6 family can be made from linoleic acid.
Omega-6 fatty acids have numerous important roles in the body.1 They contribute to the structure and function of cell membranes and play a part in the regulation of gene activity inside the cell. Arachidonic acid is especially abundant in the brain, and may be important for normal brain development of the fetus and infant. Both arachidonic acid and gamma-linolenic acid can be converted to prostaglandins and related substances that affect inflammation, blood clotting, smooth muscle tone, and many other body activities.