Omega-3 & 6 Fatty Acid Testing
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are types of fats naturally produced in plants, and in the animals that eat them. They're essential to health, and must be obtained from the diet. Both types of omega fatty acids are needed for numerous phsyiological functions, namely the cardiovascular, immune, neurological and cellular systems.
Omega-6 fatty acids are primarily derived from plant sources like corn, soy, safflower and sesame oils. Rich animal sources include meats, milk, eggs and shrimp.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high quantities in flax, walnuts, green plants, soy, pumpkin and algae; the richest animal sources are cold water fish and wild game.
Modern diets are typically rich in omega-6 and have relatively limited amounts of omega-3 fats in them. There's a large body of research covering the negative effects of excess omega-6 in relation to omega-3 in our diets. Omega-3 fats are extremely important because they produce other molecules that limit inflammation throughout the body.
The proper ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids can produce widespread health benefits; it can also reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and depression, just to name a few conditions that the proper ratio can help with. Excess omega-6 contributes to inflammation which can manifest in a multitude of conditions and diseases ranging from chronic tendinitis, joint pain, cardiovascular disease, asthma, hormone imbalance, and neurological dysfunction.
For example, the standard American diet (SAD) has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 10:1. Diets with a much lower ratio of 4:1 or less may reduce mortality up to 70% over 2 years!
Excess omega-6 in the diet can acutally impeded the absorption of omega-3 fats.
Supplementing with omega-3s leads to a reduction in triglycerides, LDL (the 'bad' cholesterol) and other cholesterol-specific inflammatory markers (Lp-PLA2).
Eating more omega-3 fats, while reducing intake of omega-6 fats can help to reduce cardiovascular problems.
For these reasons, it's important to know what your levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are! We can determine this by running an OmegaCheck test to determine the exact ratios of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, along with their metabolites (arachidonic acid, EPA, DHA, DPA, linoleic acid). This test will inform you about your overall intake of beneficial fats in your diet, and if you already supplement with additional omega oils it will tell you if your supplement is doing its job, if you're taking enough, or need more.
Knowing your omega-3 and omega-6 levels are crucial, as the correct ratios have such a widespread influence on your overall health and in prevention of future disease.
Sample OmegaCheck Report: