A Japanese study shows that taking in too much vegetable oil increases your chances of developing a stuffy nose and itchy eyes when the pollen comes out each year.

Vegetable oils are classified by their chemical structure as being primarily omega-3s or omega-6s. Omega-3s reduce pain and swelling, and omega-6s increase them. The ideal diet should contain omega-6 concentrations that are twice those of omega-3s. However, taking the germ out of whole grains before grinding to flour removes omega-3s and using commercial vegetable oils adds tremendous amounts of omega-6s fats to the typical North American diet. The average North American takes in a 20:1 ratio of 6s to 3s instead of the more healthful 2:1. These authors show another reason why you eat whole grains, beans, seeds and deep water fish for omega-3s, and cut back on added vegetable oils.

Seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and fatty acid intake: A cross-sectional study in Japan. K Wakai, K Okamoto, A Tamakoshi, YS Lin, T Nakayama, Y Ohno. Annals of Epidemiology, 2001, Vol 11, Iss 1, pp 59-64. Dietary intake of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids was positively associated with seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in spring. Address: Wakai K, Nagoya Univ, Grad Sch Med, Dept Prevent Med Biostat & Med Decis Making, Nagoya, Aichi 4668550, JAPAN

Checked 8/9/05

Get our newsletter