Diet Balance--> Tissue Balance--> Eicosanoid Balance
Diet choices influence tissue composition, and in health maintenance and disease prevention, the tissue is the issue. The intensity of omega-6 eicosanoid responses depend on the proportions of omega-6 and omega-3 eicosanoid precursors stored in the 20- and 22-carbon highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) of a responding tissue. The proportion of omega-6 in body HUFA is predicted by an empirical relationship (Biochem. Biophys. Acta 1992; 1180:147-162) for the metabolic competitions among four separate types of essential fatty acid (EFA) in the diet: 1. 18-carbon omega-3 PUFA 2. 18-carbon omega-6 PUFA 3. 20- and 22-carbon omega-3 HUFA 4. 20- and 22-carbon omega-6 HUFA Each of the four types contributes differently to the overall tissue balance. Discussing the four types combined into a single ratio of total dietary omega-6/total dietary omega-3, has no clear meaning, because tissue proportions of omega-6 in total HUFA result from the four separate contributions expressed as a percent of total food energy (en%) shown in the chart below.