Plasma fatty acid testing with ΩmegaScan® is used to assess the body's levels and balance of essential and non-essential fatty acids. The test includes omega-3 (Ω3) and omega-6 (Ω6) fatty acids, "bad" trans fatty acids as well as some important indicators for assessing the risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Plasma fatty acids are a very important factor in regulating cell membrane integrity, blood pressure and coagulation, lipid levels, immune system function, cell growth, and the inflammatory response to damage and infection.
Why measure Omega Fatty Acids?
- Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for the health of the heart, nervous system, and joints
- Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with an increased risk of developing a fatal heart attack, depression, and possibly Alzheimer's disease
- Omega-3 fatty acids are very important in pregnancy for the fetus because they are building blocks of the developing brain and eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids cross the placenta and taking them reduces the chance of premature birth
- Most people on a typical Western diet have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood, while the Mediterranean diet provides an excellent omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio
- Omega-3 fatty acid levels can be adjusted relatively easily with simple dietary changes and taking the right supplements in the right dosage
- The only way to test the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in your body is by measuring them with ΩmegaScan®
But since everyone needs to get omega-3 fatty acids, why should anyone measure them? Couldn't you just take supplements or adjust your diet to high omega-3 doses?
Everything is a matter of balance. To get the maximum results from supplements, you need to take the right dose, in the right proportion with other fatty acids (eg omega-6) and at the same time, you need to know if you eat too much of the "bad" trans-fatty acids and saturated fats.
Prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases begins with knowing the risk factors you have to deal with and how they can be corrected.
Who should check their Plasma Omega Fatty Acids?
- Patients to be treated with omega-3, either in the form of supplements or diet:
- Patients with hypercholesterolemia and/or hypertriglyceridemia, especially if taking medication (eg statins)
- Patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease
- Pregnant women at the beginning of their pregnancy
- Adolescents and children with neurological diseases (eg autism, ADHD)
- Adults at increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases (eg Alzheimer's disease)
- Patients with chronic inflammation and immune system disorders
- Patients with arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems
- Athletes and people involved in sports
- Patients treated with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements to test the effectiveness of treatment
More information on Omega Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are carboxylic acids that can be either unsaturated (i.e., having one or more carbon-carbon double bonds) or saturated (i.e., no carbon-carbon double bonds). There are two families of essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, which are polyunsaturated (PUFA) which means they have more than one C-C double bond. Omega-3 and omega-6 are called essential fatty acids because the body cannot synthesize them and therefore must be taken in through the diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids, also known as n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), are involved in many biochemical pathways, including blood clotting, muscle function, cell transport, cell division, and growth. The major omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA). Fish oil and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and tuna are the main sources of EPA and DHA. Αlpha-Linolenic acid is found in foods of plant origin such as green leafy vegetables, beans, and vegetable oils.
Omega-6 fatty acids, also known as n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 PUFA), like omega-3s, are essential fatty acids. Ω6 fatty acids are important for various cellular functions and come from various foods of animal origin (meat, eggs, dairy). The optimal dietary ratio of Ω-6 to Ω-3 fatty acids is 1:1, but in the modern western diet this ratio is usually greater than 10:1.