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December 7, 2021 •

Food & Pain

Ouch! Consuming the typical American diet, high in omega 6 fats and low in omega 3 fats significantly increases pain. That was the conclusion of a ground-breaking new study by a team of 15 scientists working collaboratively over a 5-year period.

What’s more, making dietary changes to reduce omega 6 fats and increase omega 3 fats can reduce and in some cases alleviate various pain syndromes. This is fantastic news as chronic pain has reached epidemic, critical levels in America.

This study is one of the first research efforts to methodically evaluate how various dietary fatty acids impact pain in both animal and human models. The scientists determined that diets high in omega 6 fats and low in omega 3 fats, very typical for most Americans, are a significant risk factor for both inflammatory and neuropathic pain. 

Sadly, levels of omega 6 fats have skyrocketed in the US food supply over the past 100 years, rising 1,000-fold since 1909! This is thanks to the ubiquitous use of refined vegetable oils (corn, soybean, and sunflower oil) in processed foods, as well as feeding livestock unnatural diets of corn and soybeans.

At the same time levels of omega 3 fats have plummeted in our food supply as a result of the same food processing and industrial livestock practices.
All in all, this study offers great hope as it proves that specific diet changes, namely lowering omega 6 fats and boosting omega 3 fats, can have a decisive impact on assuaging pain.

For detailed guidance on how to achieve optimal levels of these fats in your diet, click here.


Nature Metabolism, 2021; 3 (6): 762 DOI: 10.1038/s42255-021-00410-x