The Importance of Maintaining a Low Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio for Reducing the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases, Asthma, and Allergies

Mo Med. 2021 Sep-Oct;118(5):453-459.


Up until about 100 years ago, the omega-6/3 ratio has been around 4:1 or less. However, the typical Western diet now provides an omega-6/3 ratio of approximately 20:1 in favor of omega-6. This predisposes to supraphysiologic inflammatory responses and perpetuates chronic low-grade inflammation. The overconsumption of linoleic acid, mainly from industrial omega-6 seed oils, and the lack of long-chain omega-3s in the diet creates a pro-inflammatory, pro-allergic, pro-thrombotic state. Reducing the omega-6/3 ratio, particularly through reductions in the intake of refined omega-6 seed oil, and increasing the intake of marine omega-3s, either through dietary means or supplementation, may be an effective strategy for reducing inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune reactions.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Asthma* / prevention & control
  • Autoimmune Diseases*
  • Diet
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity* / epidemiology
  • Hypersensitivity* / prevention & control


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3