The critical deficiency doctors can finally test for

The evidence is clear: eating a diet poor in omega-3s is as good as saying “come get me” to cardiovascular disease.

One reason is that omega-3s have also been associated with lowering blood pressure. They also beat back inflammation and other health conditions including depression and cognitive impairment.

In fact, according to Dr. Philip Britz-McKibbin, a professor of chemical biology at McMaster University in Ontario, “Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily derived from our diet and are incorporated into the membranes of all cells and tissues in your body.”

In other words, when it comes to omega-3s — you really are what you eat

But if this nutrient is so critical to our body’s function and health — and a deficiency is potentially harmful — then you might ask…

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Why isn’t your doctor testing your omega-3 levels?

The human body can produce many of the nutrients it needs to maintain health. But omega-3 fatty acids aren’t one of them.

If you’re not eating sufficient amounts of foods that provide them, you’re setting yourself up for diseases of the worst kind.

And the reason you may not be aware of a potential deficiency is the same reason your doctor hasn’t tested you: it’s a long and invasive process.

“The body’s response to omega-3 supplementation can vary significantly between individuals, with distinct health benefits reported for patients who consumed only EPA, only DHA, or a mixture,” says Dr. Britz-McKibbin.

So, to test an individual’s blood for the different types of omega-3s and their response to each, clinicians have to draw large volumes of blood and do complicated lab work. As a result, most doctors don’t routinely measure our omega-3 index (O3I).

Dr. Britz-McKibbin and researchers from the University of Guelph knew that to change this, a simpler, less invasive test was needed…

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A simpler way to measure critical omega-3s

A biomarker is a biological molecule found in the blood or other body fluids that is a sign of either a normal, healthy condition or a disease. Biomarkers indicate how well the body responds to a particular intervention or treatment.

In a study led by Dr. Britz-McKibbin, researchers isolated two specific biomarkers for measuring the Omega-3 Index (O3I) from among the hundreds circulating in the blood of people who had taken 5 grams of fish oil.

“By directly measuring only two specific biomarkers in a blood sample, we can rapidly assess the O3I without time-consuming and costly sample workup protocols prior to analysis,” says Dr. Britz-McKibbin.

“Our test can be part of a routine blood test without any special requirements.”

Researchers also plan to identify a surrogate biomarker of the O3I with a urine-based test, which would eliminate the need to draw blood entirely.

Supporting omega-3 levels

It’s a good bet that your doctor still isn’t routinely measuring your omega-3 index when you have your annual physical. But this new method will open the door to quick and easy regular screening — just like when your doctor checks your vitamin D levels.

It can help both you and your doctor understand just where you stand, and how much supplementation you need to bring your omega-3s to a healthy level.

In the meantime, you can take matters into your own hands…

Most health guidelines on heart health that you’ll read still focus on lowering cholesterol and saturated fats as a ‘heart healthy’ diet, rather than assessing your overall diet quality.

However, if you’re eating the Standard American diet (SAD), you’re almost certainly short on omega-3s and ripe for a disrupted gut microbiome and immune system, inflammation and heart trouble.

You can change that now by adding more of the following foods to your diet:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Shrimp

If you’re not a fish lover, don’t despair. Reach for:

  • Walnuts
  • Soybean
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed

You can also buy omega 3-fortified versions of eggs, milk, juice and bread — or consider a daily supplement. Krill oil is a good choice. It’s easy to digest and is rich in DHA and EPA, two important components of omega-3s.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!


Omega watch: Researchers develop new blood test for measuring levels of critical omega-3 fatty acids — Science Daily

Lipidomic studies reveal two specific circulating phosphatidylcholines as surrogate biomarkers of the omega-3 index — Journal of Lipid Research

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.