**Note: All laboratory testing requires an authorizing physician. DHA Laboratory offers a patient direct program that partners you with an authorizing physician. If you have any additional questions regarding the availability of testing, please contact our laboratory by telephone or email.**
The Omega-3 Index Complete Test measure all the fatty acids in the blood, and reports levels of all 24 fatty acids as well as the Omega-3 index, Ratios, and the Trans Fat Index.
You can find out what fats make up your cells with the Omega-3 Index Complete test. Diet is not the only thing that determines your blood fatty acid levels – metabolism, genetics, gender, weight, age and other lifestyle factors all can play a role.
The Omega-3 Index test measures the amount of EPA and DHA in your blood, specifically the red blood cell membrane. Membranes, or cell walls, are made of different kinds of fats called fatty acids. We have found that having a higher proportion of EPA and DHA in the membrane tracks with how much omega-3 is in your diet and is a marker of better health. Raising your Omega-3 Index to the desirable zone of 8% will help ensure you are getting enough of the right omega-3s — EPA and DHA — to protect your health.
The Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio
The Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio (also written “n-6/n-3”) analyzes 7 omega-6 fatty acids and 4 omega-3 fatty acids. The total amount of omega-6s and omega-3s are divided by each other to get a ratio. We recommend a ratio of 3-5:1 (omega-6:omega-3).
The AA/EPA ratio is your level of arachidonic acid (AA), an omega-6 fatty acid, vs. eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid. These are important fatty acids in metabolism because powerful signaling molecules can be made from them. These molecules can affect anything from blood clotting to birth contractions to inflammatory responses. Having different levels of these two fatty acids could affect processes that ultimately impact inflammation and overall health.
Trans Fat Index
Eating foods with trans fats made from hydrogenated oils increases the risk for heart attacks. For years, trans fats were used to make all kinds of processed foods. But because of their effect on heart health, trans fats were deemed unsafe for human consumption and are being removed from food supply chains all over the world, including the US. However, other kinds of trans fats occur naturally at fairly low levels in meat and milk products, and they seem to have health benefits. The Trans Fat Index measures the trans fats from industrial production and should be below 1%.
Individual Fatty Acid Level
We measure 24 individual fatty acid levels in your blood to calculate the Omega-3 Index, Ratios and Trans Fat Index. But there is so much more to learn from knowing individual levels of fatty acids, like EPA and DHA levels, the specific omega-6 fatty acids that make up half the Ratios, and more. While there is not yet agreement in the scientific community on what many fatty acid levels “mean” for health, these values provide interesting insights into your diet and health.
Performing Laboratory is OmegaQuant.