Fatty acid imbalances can be a causative factor in a variety of chronic health conditions. Omega-6 and Omega-3 deficiency are particularly common in the general population. The Essential Fatty Acids profile test assesses the critical balance between essential Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. The Fatty Acids Profile can indicate the need for fatty acid supplementation and/or dietary modification.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Omega-3, omega-6 and trans fats all play a role in your health and are related to risk for heart disease. Tracking these numbers can help you optimize them for your health. The Omega-3 Index, Trans Fat Index, Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio and AA/EPA ratio all respond to what you eat. You can change your numbers simply by changing what you eat. Everyone responds differently to lifestyle changes so the only way to know how your blood levels respond is to test.
Role of Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are essential to the human body and have benefits for our heart, brain, eyes and joints. By reducing inflammation, blood clots and improving membrane function, essential fats are associated with a lower risk of heart complications – including heart disease, plaque build‐up and heart attacks – both in persons with a history of heart disease and in healthy individuals. Essential fats are important for optimal brain development in babies and mental function, particularly later in life.
The Essential fatty acids test is a comprehensive assessment of total saturated and monounsaturated fats, omega 3 index, saturated and monosaturated fats, 4 x omega-3 fatty acids, 7 x omega-6 fatty acids, 4 x monounsaturated fatty acids, 6 x saturated fatty acids, 3 groups of trans fatty acids, 5 composites (group sums) and 2 ratios - the omega-6:omega-3 and arachidonic acid to eicosapentanoic acid ratio (AA:EPA).
We’ve become conditioned to think of fat as ‘bad’. Omega-3 fats (technically fatty acids), however, are essential to the human body and have benefits for our heart, brain, eyes and joints. By reducing inflammation, blood clots and improving membrane function, omega-3 fats are associated with a lower risk of heart complications – including heart disease, plaque build-up and heart attacks – both in persons with a history of heart disease and in healthy individuals. Omega-3 fats also seem to be important for optimal brain development in babies, and mental function, particularly later in life. For pregnant women, an intake of omega-3 fats supports normal visual development in the foetus. In short, the addition of omega-3 fats to the diet is important to maintaining both our physical and mental health.
There are potential benefits of omega-3 oils in a wide range of medical conditions. While optimal levels have not yet been defined for EPA and DHA in all circumstances, the Omega-3 Index may be used to document improved omega-3 levels in people who want to reduce the risk for several maladies.
Signs and Symptoms associated with low essential fatty acids
- Dry flaky skin
- Cracking, peeling skin
- Colour variation of skin
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive ear wax
- Dry mouth/throat
- Menstrual cramps
- Dry eyes
- Vaginal dryness
- Premenstrual breast tenderness
- Dry, lacklustre, brittle hair
- Brittle fingernails
- Small bumps on back of upper arms
- Dandruff or cradle cap
If you are not sure if you are getting enough essential fats in your diet or as importantly the correct balance of essential fats, make an appointment with one of our Nutritionists and Naturopaths to have your diet analysed, and consider having a simple blood test to assesses the critical balance between essential Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Testing ranges from $100-$153.
Book an online consultation or a face to face appointment at our Brisbane or Graceville clinics. With online nutritionist consultations available for patients anywhere in Australia including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, we can help ensure your diet is healthy and balanced.
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