Omega-6 Apocalypse: From Heart Disease to Cancer and Macular Degeneration, Are Seed Oil Excesses the Unifying Mechanism?
Over the past two hundred years, we’ve witnessed the evolution of pandemics of chronic degenerative, metabolic, and noncommunicable disease (NCD). Ample evidence supports the conclusion that coronary heart disease, cancers, type 2 diabetes, obesity, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and metabolic syndrome, among other chronic diseases, have risen from
medical rarities to the most common causes of chronic disease and causes of death. Whereas the top three causes of death in the year 1900 were all infectious, by year 2000, seven of the top ten causes of death were secondary to chronic NCD. During the same time frame, we’ve witnessed industrially produced seed oils, rich in omega-6 fatty acids, elevate to occupy up to a
third of human consumption, or more. Such oils rarely existed anywhere prior to the American Civil War, globally. Virtually all chronic degenerative diseases of civilization have in common one primary metabolic defect, namely, mitochondrial dysfunction. Could omega-6 rich seed oils, consumed to excess, be the common precipitating factor through multiple mechanisms, including prooxidative and proinflammatory pathways, cytotoxicity, mutagenicity, and genotoxicity? The evidence is compelling.