Inflammation is one component of the body’s immune response to injury and illness, and when functioning properly, assists in the restoration of health. Inflammation occurs at the cellular level, precisely where our bodies store and release Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). Some EFAs, such as omega-6 fats, facilitate a pro-inflammatory response, while others like omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory response, counteracting the actions of omega-6.
Research indicates that a large number of people carry ~75% pro inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and only ~25% anti-inflammatory EPA, DPA and DHA in their cell membranes. Using the Omega-3 Blood Spot Test, a person can evaluate the balance of these essential fats in their body. The test can also be used to follow the changes in essential fats as a person works to improve their diet and uses omega-3 supplements. Research studies also suggest that when EPA, DPA, ad DHA levels in cell membranes are at or above 50% of highly unsaturated fatty acids, the risk of cardiovascular problems is significantly reduced.
Here is what your individual report will detail:
The main indexes of omega-3 status are the value for total omega-3 (omega 3 score) and the percent of omega-3 in HUFA (highly unsaturated fatty acids). Total omega-3 levels are reported as a percentage. If you have a total omega-3 score of 5% that means that there are 5 omega-3 fatty acids for every 100 fatty acids in your blood.
Most Americans have around 4% total omega-3,
which is widely considered as deficient by experts
in the field.
The target for total omega-3 is 9%
This report also supplies your Lands’ test score or ‘omega-3 in HUFA’ score. This score was developed by Dr Bill Lands and defines the relationship between omega-3 and omega-6 balance with respect to heart disease based on his research.
Here is a sample report: I am sharing my personal report with you.
I am not doing so bad, BUT there is room for improvement!
Dr Lands’ recommends having an omega-3 in HUFA score above 50% or a level where both omega-6 and omega-3 HUFA are equal in our blood. The graphic, from Dr Lands, with this score in the attached report demonstrates the relationship between this score and heart attack death rates.
If you are eating a diet rich in omega-3 and/or taking fish oil supplements, your omega-3 in HUFA is probably high. If you don’t score so well, i.e., less than 35% it is time to think of some ways to increase your number. Experts recommend adding omega-3 rich fish to your diet on a weekly basis. Fish that are naturally rich in omega-3 include salmon, trout, sardines (canned is fine too), albacore tuna and menhaden. There are also a number of food items that are enriched in long chain omega-3 like omega-3 eggs, omega-3 juice, omega-3 cheese and milk.
Experts also recommend supplementing your diet with omega-3 with a high quality fish oil supplement. The American Heart Association recommends that people consume at least 1000mg of EPA, DPA and DHA (the 3 main types of omega-3) per day. 1000mg of long chain omega-3 is about 3 capsules of fish oil per day. 2000mg would be 6 capsules per day.