Emblem for Skin Support - Reducing Vegetable Oil Consumption for Skin Health Module

Executive Summary

Reducing intake of added oils can lead to a more balanced intake of essential fatty acids, which is known to improve systemic inflammation, lipid metabolism and immune system stability; resulting in less skin sensitivity and healthier sebum composition.

Introduction

Due to growing concerns regarding diets high in saturated fats, the consumption of vegetable oils high in omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids has risen significantly.

Unfortunately, this preference for vegetable oils comes with it’s own set of potential draw backs. More specifically, vegetable oils rich in omega 6 fatty acids are now increasingly viewed as pro-inflammatory. Meaning that, increasing their consumption can lead to a general rise in systemic inflammation.

Accordingly, many researchers have correlated the rise in omega 6 fatty acid consumption with rises in malignant tumors, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disease [1].

Most commonly consumed vegetable oils high in omega 6 fatty acids [2, 3]:

  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil

Nonetheless, it’s difficult to say weather or not isolating certain oils is of benefit. Instead it appears that aiming for a general reduction in added vegetable oils and fats may be most favorable [4].

Documented Benefits

Diets with a more balanced ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to:

  • Improve conversion of linolenic acid to longer-chain omega 6 fatty acids (such as GLA) [5]
  • Reduce levels of systemic inflammation [6, 7, 8]
  • Improve blood lipid and cholesterol levels [9]
  • Reduce the risk of developing diabetes [10, 11]
  • Stabilize immune system function [12]

Why It’s Important for Inflammatory Skin Disease

Characteristics most important for individuals affected by inflammatory skin disorders:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved lipid metabolism
  • Improved blood glucose control

Expected improvements:

  • Reduced skin sensitivity and inflammation
  • Improved sebum composition and barrier function

Ideas for Integration

  • Replace salads with raw vegetables (whole or portioned)
  • Avoid dressings and marinades in favor of herbs and spices

Additional Notes

  • Some studies suggest that reducing intake of vegetable oils is not needed to gain the benefits of increase omega 3 consumption [13]
  • Grass fed animal products have healthier fatty acid profiles, then those on commercial grain fed diets [14]
  • Many convenience foods and ready made meals are high in added vegetable oils

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