An unhealthy diet can alter gut bacteria, resulting in low-grade persistent inflammation, in turn leading to the development of chronic diseases. Hence, identifying the dietary components that can influence gut flora may be beneficial for a healthy living. Scientists focused on the balance between dietary omega 6 and omega 3 fats in the diet. Published in the journal Nature’s Communication Biology, the study was conducted on four types of mice, which differed in the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fats produced in their bodies, irrespective of their feed. The natural mice being one of the types studied; the other three types were specifically developed by genetic engineering, to produce varying levels of PUFA in their bodies. The mice with a high ratio of omega-6:omega3 fats had altered gut flora and metabolites conducive to the development of cancers and chronic diseases. While the mice with a balanced ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fats had a healthy gut flora, suppressing chronic inflammation and were healthier than their counterparts.
According to one of the researchers, “Many lines of evidence now support the notion that the omega-6/omega-3 imbalance is a critical factor that contributes to the development of chronic disease. Balancing the PUFA ratio may be a safe and effective solution to some modern health problems.” The modern Western diet has an unbalanced ratio of omega6:omega3 fats, causing a detrimental effect on one’s health.