Combined omega 3 6 9 supplements usually provide each of these fatty acids in suitable proportions, such as 2-to-1-to-1 for omega-3:6:9.
Such oils can help increase your intake of vegan omega 3 fats and enhance your balance of fatty acids so that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is less than 4-to-1.
However, most people already get enough omega-6 from their diet, and the body produces omega-9. For this reason, most people do not need to supplement with these fats.
Instead, it’s best to focus on getting a good balance of omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids from your diet.
Ways of doing this include eating at least two portions of oily fish per week and using olive oil for cooking and in salad dressings.
In addition, try to limit omega-6 intake by limiting your consumption of other vegetable oils and fried foods that have been cooked in refined vegetable oils.
People who do not get enough omega-3 from their diet may benefit from an omega-3 supplement rather than a combined omega 3 6 9 supplement.
Combined omega-3-6-9 supplements provide optimal ratios of fatty acids. However, they likely provide no additional benefits compared with vegan omega 3 supplements.
How to choose an omega 3-6-9 supplement
Much like other oils, polyunsaturated fatty acids are easily oxidized when exposed to heat and light.
Therefore, when buying an omega 3 6 9 supplement, choose one that’s cold pressed. This means the oil has been extracted with limited heat, minimizing the oxidization that can damage the fatty acid molecules.
To ensure you’re taking a supplement that isn’t oxidized, choose one that contains an antioxidant such as vitamin E.
Additionally, select a supplement with the highest omega-3 content — ideally more than 0.3 grams per serving.
Furthermore, since EPA and DHA have more health benefits than ALA, choose a supplement that uses fish oil or algal oil, rather than flaxseed oil.
Choose an omega-3 supplement instead of a combined omega 3 6 9 supplement. If you’re buying a combined supplement, choose one with a high concentration of EPA and DHA.
The bottom line
Combined omega 3 6 9 supplements are popular, but they generally provide no additional benefit over taking omega-3 alone.
Omega-6s are essential in certain quantities, but they’re present in many foods. People who follow a Western diet may already consume too many.
Additionally, the body can produce omega-9 fats, and they’re easily obtained in the diet. So you don’t need to take them in supplement form.
Therefore, although combined supplements contain optimal omega 3-6-9 ratios, taking just vegan omega 3s will likely provide you with the most health benefits.