Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid for a human being
Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that can be acquired from seeds and vegetables. Many vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, sunflower oil and corn oil are also rich in omega-6 fatty acids.
Linoleic acid is the only one of the omega-6 fatty acids which is an essential fatty acid, as the body cannot synthesize it. Linoleic acid turns into gamma linoleic acid (GLA) and arachidonic acid (AA) in the body. Linoleic acid contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.
GLA cannot be acquired directly from foods, the only exception being mother’s milk. Linoleic acid turns into GLA in the body and GLA is also produced to the form used in supplements from evening primrose oil, seeds of blackcurrant and the seed oil of borage.
It is recommended to enjoy omega-3 fatty acids with omega-6 fatty acids. Excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation in the body. However, the sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids prevents the possible harmful side effects of the excessive intake of the omega-6 fatty acids.
The approved health claims for linoleic acid
- Linoleic acid contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels