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Essential Fats and Inflammation:
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 (EFAs). Some EFAs, such as omega-6 fats, facilitate a proinflammatory response, while others like omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory response, counteracting the actions of omega-6. The reaction is dependent on a variety of external stimuli that we encounter and the different types of EFAs in our body. inflammation is something we need for survival, but excessive inflammation can be harmful. At the cellular level, the release of certain EFAs produce hormone-like molecules known as eicosanoids or prostaglandins that affect things like circulation, pain and swelling, and blood vessel tone. Omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA, DPA, and DHA, have an anti-inflammatory effect. Conversely, the omega-6 fat arachidonic acid (AA) is converted into eicosanoids that have powerful inflammatory effects. One exception is CLA, a type of omega-6 that is also reported to have anti-inflammatory effects when it is converted to DCLA, which in turn, when converted to an eicosanoid, has an anti-inflammatory effect.
How to Know the Body's Omega-3 Fatty Acid Status:
Omega-3 Blood Test: over the past 40 years,
numerous scientific studies have provided evidence
that higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids EPA, DPA,
and DHA, and lower amounts of omega-6 fatty acids
in the blood, are associated with reduced risk of many
Much of the imbalance in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids within cell membranes is the result of a nutrient- deficient diet. Research suggests that a large number of Americans carry about 75% proinflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and only about 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, and DHA levels in cell membranes are at or above 50% of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA), the risk of cardiovascular problems is significantly reduced.
Omega-3 Index: Similar to the omega-3 Blood Spot Test the Omega-3 index Test evaluates the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in RBC membranes, but reports the results in a different manner. When levels of EPA and DHA in cell membranes are at or above 8%, the risk of cardiovascular problems is significantly reduced.
The Holman Omega3 Test identifies your complete fatty acid profile, focusing on your omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid (FA) levels as well as other omega chains. The kit includes an at-home method for obtaining a blood spot sample, which is analyzed by Lipid Technologies using precision proprietary method for high sensitivity blood-spot omega 3 analysis.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA): There are 2 EFA families omega 6 and omega 3, beginning with Base Fatty Acids Linoleic (LA) and Alpha Linolenic (ALA). LA and ALA are essential 1. 5% may be metabolized from Base FAs up to Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (HUFA) DGLA, AA, EPA, and DHA. if young and healthy. These 2 levels of EFAs, Base or Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) and Higher or HUFA, may be supplemented to balance and improve health.
Highly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (HUFA): Omega 6 HUFAs (GLA, DGLA, AA) and Omega 3 HUFA (EPA/DHA), through their prostaglandin pathways, are the master communicators, directors and stimulators of all metabolism. Omega 3 fish oil (DHA/EPA) modulates AA to more accurately control growth, gestation, heart rate, and nerve response. including sight and thought. Best ratio GLA/AA:EPA/ DHA is between 1:1 and 2:1. If fatty acids are extremely unbalanced, it's best to stabilize omega 6 FAs (AA, GLA) for 6-8 weeks before (re)introducing omega 3 (fish oil) FAs.view sample report
If you have further questions after receiving your report,
a phone consult with Dr. Psonak is available for an additional fee.
1 Holman and Christophe,'87; Linscheer and Vergroesen, '88