2

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Higher Linoleic Acid = Better Skin

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 13, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I started eating a paleo type diet 2 years ago to help me with skin issues and most of my fat intake had always came from coconut. So my diet was very high in saturated fat and lower in PUFA, usually never more than 5 grams. The last couple weeks I have been increasing my Omega-6 intake quite a bit, all from olives, avocados and nuts, equaling about 25 grams a day (sounds like a lot of Omega 6) and my skin is starting to look real good. Could I have been suffering an Omega-6 deficiency this whole time? Could this much Omega-6 from whole foods really be that bad?

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 08, 2012
at 10:14 PM

when you say better skin do you mean, less acne, more bright, smoother, etc.? Thanks!

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on October 15, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Nice finds.....

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 14, 2012
at 09:30 PM

very true......

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Deficiency in the skin is different than having a deficiency in the diet.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:49 PM

LA is not "important" in the production of sebum, since your body can use oleic acid (and I suspect several other fatty acids) to make sebum.

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5 Answers

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1
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 14, 2012
at 12:22 AM

i have been wondering the same thing recently.
an n6 fatty acid deficiency can cause bad skin, there are studies on this, it does seem rare (n6 fatty acid deficiency), but not impossible.

i experimented in the past with cold pressed flax oil, & saw my dry skin improve (reduce). i theorised that if there was a link (flax seed oil improving my skin), then it was more likely the n6 than the n3, because in my case, eating oily fish (or taking fish supps) did not improve my dry skin.

there are studies on GLA (Gamma Linolenic Aicd) and Linoleic Acid (LA) which have shown improvements to the skin (both n6 fatty acids).

i actually posted a question here; Flax seed oil and skin health, asking why flax seed oil might be improving my skin. There are a few links under the post that you may find useful.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Deficiency in the skin is different than having a deficiency in the diet.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on October 15, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Nice finds.....

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 14, 2012
at 09:30 PM

very true......

3
6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

It may not necessarily be the O6. These foods can be high in Vit E. especially the nuts.

According to Chris Kresser, "Vitamin E is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant found in the skin. It is secreted on the skin surface through the sebum, an oily substance that coats the outer layer of the skin. (2) This secretion happens roughly 7 days after consumption of vitamin E-rich foods, and is an important protective factor on the skin???s surface. Our bodies store vitamin E in our fat cells, and we depend on adequate dietary intake to keep these levels optimum."

http://chriskresser.com/nutrition-for-healthy-skin-part-3

Gotta love nuts.

1
1b47e0a6d7984e33e59581d8364cc3dd

(716)

on October 13, 2012
at 11:03 PM

Interesting observation. I think linoleic acid is pretty important in the production of sebum (but not exactly sure), so that may explain it.

Omega 6 from whole foods is not bad in my opinion, as it would be hard to get too much as you would from oils for example. So getting too much is bad, but getting too little could be even worse, as it is an essential nutrient which the body can not manufacture itself. The RDA is whooping 17g/day for linoleic, and 1.6 for linolenic, not sure if really that much is necessary. Seems kinda outdated, especially since the recommended ratio of linoleic to linolenic is something like 2 to 1 or so.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:49 PM

LA is not "important" in the production of sebum, since your body can use oleic acid (and I suspect several other fatty acids) to make sebum.

0
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on October 14, 2012
at 01:34 PM

You need a balance of fats, not just all of one kind.

0
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on October 14, 2012
at 12:57 AM

Yes, it's the linoleic acid. But Olive Oil isn't a good source of LA, it's a good source of oleic acid.

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