Omega-6 Fatty Acids




Omega-6 fatty acids are types of fats. Some types are found in vegetable oils, including corn, evening primrose seed, safflower, and soybean oils. Other types of omega-6 fatty acids are found in black currant seed, borage seed, and evening primrose oils.

Omega-6 fatty acids are used for many conditions, but so far, the best information that science can provide is that putting arachidonic acid, a particular omega-6 fatty acid, doesn't improve infant development. Not enough research has been done on omega-6 fatty acids to judge whether or not they are effective for other uses.

Omega-6 fatty acids are used for reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering total cholesterol levels, lowering "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels, raising "good" (HDL) cholesterol levels, and reducing cancer risk.

Most of the information we have on omega-6 fatty acid supplements comes from studying specific omega-6 fatty acids or plant oils containing omega-6 fatty acids. See the separate listing for evening primrose oil.

How it works

There isn't enough information available to know how omega-6 fatty acids work.


Possibly Ineffective
Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Taking omega-6 fatty acids does not seem to prevent the progression of MS.


Likely safe

Omega-6 fatty acids are LIKELY SAFE when consumed by adults and children over the age of 12 months as part of the diet in amounts between 5% and 10% of daily calories. However, there is not enough reliable information available to know if omega-6 fatty acids are safe to use as medicine.



Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Omega-6 fatty acids areLIKELY SAFEwhen consumed as part of the diet in amounts between 5% and 10% of daily calories. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking omega-6 fatty acid supplements if you arepregnantorbreast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.Dosing considerations for Omega-6 Fatty Acids.

High triglycerides (a type of cholesterol): Omega-6 fatty acids can raise triglyceride levels. Do not use omega-6 fatty acids if your triglycerides are too high.


No information available.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.