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Questions about Omega 3
Why should I test for Omega 3?
Omega 3 is an umbrella term for a range of polyunsaturated fatty acids that we absorb from our food and that the body requires for different purposes. A test can show you whether the fatty acids in your body are in a healthy equilibrium.
The risk groups for an Omega 3 deficiency include vegetarians, vegans, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals who do not fish.
What are Omega 3 fatty acids?
Omega 3 fatty acids dilate the vessels and have anti-inflammatory effects. The so-called Omega 6 fatty acids, on the other hand, promote inflammation and are vasoconstrictors. If both types of fatty acids are in a favourable equilibrium, an inflammation-neutral state exists. This has a positive effect on health. Experts recommend a minimum ratio of 5 to 1.
In the Western world, we consume relatively few Omega 3-rich foods, which is why the proportion of Omega 6 fatty acids in many people is too excessive. Scientists estimate that the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in the population is on average 15 to 1.
How does the Omega 3 Test work?
In order to carry out the Omega 3 Test, a lancet is used to take a small blood sample from your fingertip. A few drops of blood are applied to a dry blood card, which is then sent by prepaid return envelope to a certified lab. The lab then analyzes your fatty acids blood profile. It shall also determine the Omega 3 index and the ratio between the Omega 6 and Omega 3 unsaturated fatty acids.
What will the results tell me?
The results report will tell you about your Omega 3 index and the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in your blood.
The Omega 3 index describes the proportion of the two Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in the total fatty acid content within the blood. We recommend a value of between four and eleven percent. If your Omega 3 index is below this level, you may need more Omega 3 fatty acids.
The ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 varies in the best case between 1 to 1 and 6 to 1. If the value is higher, you have been consuming too many Omega 6 fatty acids compared to your Omega 3 fatty acids. In this case it would be advisable to alter your diet.
What recommendations shall I receive after the Omega 3 test?
The results report will provide recommendations that can help you to lower your ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 to 5 to 1 or lower. This includes tips for an optimised diet, with which you should be able to consume the right amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, and for supplementation with Omega 3 supplements.
How does an Omega 3 deficiency manifest itself?
If the proportion of Omega 3 in the body is too low, this can lead to constricted vessels, inflammation and a weakening of the immune system.
Possible symptoms of Omega 3 deficiency include:
- fatigue and muscle weakness
- poor memory and depression
- poor eyesight
- a raised risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases
- a higher risk of infections
- dry skin
Why do I need Omega 3?
According to studies, Omega 3 fatty acids promote health at various levels. Among other things, a good proportion of Omega 3 lowers cholesterol and inhibits blood clotting and inflammatory reactions in the body. Omega 3 fatty acids are said to help maintain mental performance and vision in old age.
Functions of Omega 3 fatty acids in the body also include:
- strengthening of the immune system
- lowering of blood pressure
- maintenance of cell metabolism
- protein synthesis
- reduction of oxidative stress in cells
Where can I get Omega 3?
Omega 3 fatty acids can not be produced by our bodies. They need to be consumed in the diet. Fish from colder seas and oceans represent the best source for Omega 3, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna and sardines. The World Health Organization recommends eating fish once or twice a week to fulfil requirements for Omega 3 fatty acids.
Plant foods usually contain significantly more Omega 6 than Omega 3. This has the consequence that vegetarians, vegans and people who for other reasons do not eat fish, often develop a inbalance in their fatty acid profiles.
However, some vegetable foods do contain larger amounts of Omega 3:
- linseed oil
- rapeseed oil
- chia seeds
If you can not get enough Omega 3 through your diet, you can also use dietary supplements. These supplements are usually capsules or oils and at best will contain an active form of Omega 3. Many are based on fish oil, but there are also vegan Omega 3 supplements, mostly based on algae oils.
How much Omega 3 do I need?
Some of the major international health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), recommend a daily intake of at least 250 milligrams of Omega 3 fatty acids so that your body can fufill its basic tasks, such as maintaining your heart function. However, according to the WHO and EFSA, two grams of Omega 3 or more are better.
The US National Institutes of Health structure their recommendations according to age and gender. According to these, adult men should consume 1,600 milligrams of Omega 3 fatty acids, and adult women 1,100 milligrams.
Your personal test results
As soon as your sample has been evaluated, you will receive your individual result report via the My Cerascreen App or our secure online customer area. You can easily view the report on your smartphone or computer or print it out.
Result of laboratory analysis: You will find out if you have a good balance of the fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 in your body.
Individualised practical recommendations: You will learn how to optimize your omega-3 levels through nutrition and supplements.
Important health information: Read how Omega 3 protects the heart and circulation and why the ratio to Omega 6 is so important.
Taking a blood sample Use the lancet enclosed with the test kit to draw a few drops of blood and deposit them on the dry blood card.
Activate test online Enter the test ID listed on the test ID card in your secure My cerascreen user account on our website or on our app. Then answer a few short questions so we can give you personalised recommendations.
Send blood sample Send the card with the blood sample by post to our laboratory free of charge using the prepaid return envelope.
Laboratory analysis Your blood sample will be analysed in a specialized lab.
Status notification You will be notified by email and through our app when your sample has arrived at the lab and when the analysis is complete.
Certified laboratory cerascreen® partners with DST Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH, a trusted specialist in holistic diagnostics for more than 10 years - certified according to TÜV Rheinland according to DIN EN ISO 13485 as well as EC declarations of conformity and proficiency testing.
Detailed results report The result report tells you the result of your test and explains what the values mean for you.
Individual recommendations You will receive practical recommendations and tips tailored to your individual needs.
Advice from health experts If you have any further questions, our health experts are available via chat and email.