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Introducing the Omega 3 Index Score – What’s Yours?
Have you ever wondered if you are consuming enough of the essential Omega 3 fats? A survey of 12,000 Australians found that 80% of people were not meeting the recommended daily intake for these healthy, anti inflammatory fats. The Omega 3 Index test can tell you if your diet and/or supplements are actually working. In fact, a study published last year showed that the Omega 3 Index is a better predictor of death from heart disease than cholesterol!
Dr. Harris, lead researcher states “while even the healthiest people might think they are getting enough omega-3s in the diet, very few actually do. In fact, a 2016 study showed only a few regions in the world are consuming protective levels of omega-3s (e.g., Japan, Korea, and Norway), while the rest of the world is very low in omega-3s.”
Factors that can affect your Omega 3 status are:
- A diet high in saturated and trans fats
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Elevated stress hormones
- Viral infections
What are Omega 3’s?
Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s are a type of healthy ‘polyunsaturated’ fat. They are called ‘essential fatty acids’, the reason they are ‘essential’ is because our body can’t make them, we must get them from our food. The active ingredients in Omega 3’s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA).
Unfortunately due to omega 6’s being more readily available in the western diet eg packaged food tends to include omega 6’s like sunflower oil and soybean oil, it means our diets are becoming higher in Omega 6 than 3. This a problem as Omega 6 drives inflammation more easily in your body than Omega 3 does.
Fats and oils can have a combination of both Omega 3 and 6, but some oils are higher in Omega 6. These include soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil (rapeseed oil), palm oil and corn oil. We recommend you completely avoid these oils and use extra virgin olive oil, ghee or coconut oil for cooking.
What do Omega 3’s do in my body?
Omega 3’s play a critical role in healthy cell membrane structure – which means they affect every single cell in your body. Research shows Omega 3’s are essential for optimal brain, cardiovascular, reproductive and nervous system. We have seen this in clinical papers on memory, cholesterol, pregnancy, joint pain and general wellbeing. To find out our top 6 foods to beat inflammation head to this blog.
What is the Omega 3 Index Test?
The Omega 3 Index test is a simple, scientifically validated test that measures red blood cell Omega 3 status. The goal is to have over 8%. A score below 4% is correlated to a 40% increased risk of all cause mortality. We can run this test in clinic – all that is required is a blood spot sample, which your practitioner can easily collect for you.
Who would benefit from the Omega 3 Index Test:
- anyone considering falling pregnant within the next 6 months
- if you are currently pregnant
- if you want to shift away from a pro inflammatory diet
- if you have cardiovascular issues in your family history
- if you are trying to reduce pain
- have hormone issues
Here is what my report looks like – my Omega Index score was 8.74% which was a great outcome!
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