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Sunflower oil...

February 26th, 2006, 09:07 PM
Ok.. I wanted to give it it's own thread so I could find it again...

But I've been looking around, since the first link I posted (with jubilation) was not from a reputable source, and I've found a lot of other sites geared to human nutrition that say to limit consumption of sunflower oil because the Omega-6 fatty acids are too high.

Here are a couple I found:
From here:
Limit the intake of omega-6-rich vegetable oils. Minimizing the use of oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids is the easiest way to keep linoleic acid levels at a reasonable level. Oils that contain predominately omega-6 fatty acids include corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil. Commercial products such as margarine, salad dressing and mayonnaise that are made with these oils should also be limited. Soybean oil and walnut oil are also rich sources of omega-6 fatty acids, but their omega-6 content is partially compensated for by an omega-3 content of 5-8%.
There is also a table at the bottom (table 1) that has the proportions of Omega 3 to 6, but sunflower oil isn't on there (it's not a good source of omega 3). There's some stuff about flaxseed oil too- how to keep it from breaking down because it's a really fragile oil.

Here's another one that says we get nearly 10 times the amount of Omega 6 we need and not enough Omega 3 because of oils like sunflower oil...

This one is scary...
It tells you what too much Omega-6 does to your heart and cardiovascular system among other things (tumors, clots), :eek: while omega-3 helps reduce the chances of all that.

Is that enough? Basically, my point is that sunflower oil has a lot of omega-6 and little to no omega-3, which is worse than canola oil or olive oil. The best oil, by far, is flax oil, but chances are it will break down before your dog eats it anyway, unless you buy it separately and keep it in the freezer.

February 26th, 2006, 09:46 PM
Canidae, California Natural and Innova all use sunflower oil so does that mean we shouldn`t be feeding those brands?

February 26th, 2006, 09:50 PM
If they have salmon, flaxseed oil or other sources high in omega-3, then they should be ok. If they don't all you have to do is supplement with either omega-3 or flaxseed oil...

February 26th, 2006, 09:52 PM
Oh wait! The Canidae ingredients in the other thread put sunflower oil further down the list. It's not the primary fat. That's not bad.

February 27th, 2006, 01:50 PM
A balanced ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of 5:1 is preferred. I still don`t like sunflower oil though if they says it causes cancer.

This website has lots of information (also other than EFA info if you click on the links at the very bottom):

There`s also info at

And I know some of you don`t like mordanna :D but...

March 2nd, 2006, 10:04 PM
This is my understanding, please correct me if you see anything wrong.
1. Omega 6 are ESSENTIAL fatty acids. They must be obtained from the diet. In excess, they may contribute to cancer. In their absence, we die.
2. Sunflower oil is a good source of Omega 6. I don't think it is any more likely to cause cancer than any other source of Omega 6; the danger is in the amount consumed. In other words, this would only be a problem if sunflower oil were the only source of FAs.
3. Dog foods have Omega 3 added to them in some ratio... 1 to 4, 1 to 5... to Omega 6. Rarely are they from the same source. So, just because sunflower oil is in a food, the real issue is to look at the ratio of 3 to 6. There shouldn't be too low a ratio here (say, 1 to 10).
4. I am interested in knowing more about 'absorb-able' Omega 3 in dog foods. It appears to be unstable. I wonder how much our dogs are actually getting without supplementing flax seed oil...

March 2nd, 2006, 11:09 PM
It's not that it has to not be the only source, it's that you need other sources high in omega-3 to balance it out. I think if there is fish (in particular, salmon) in there, there would be more omega-3 and it might balance out. I don't think the omega-3 in fish breaks down as easily as flaxseed oil. With flaxseed oil, the whole oil breaks down, not just the omega-3.

For sure, if sunflower oil is not the main oil and there are other ones high in omega-3, it would be ok. But it seems that at least in humans, we get way too much omega-6 than omega-3. It's something we should probably be more conscious of for both us and our doggies.

Also, if the main oil is either olive or canola, you don't have to worry about it as much, especially if there's salmon in there... But then people hate canola because it's theoretically a GMO... But don't get me started on GMO...:rolleyes: :evil:

So far, I don't think I've seen anything about the effects of too much Omega-3...