By now, most people know that omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) offer remarkable health benefits. Less known is the importance to assess how much omega-3 is actually in ones blood which correlates with the degree of protection from heart disease.
An at-home test called the Omega-3 Index has been developed that allows for determination of your individual omega-3 status by measuring the EPA/DHA content of your red blood cells. People whose total EPA/DHA in red blood cells is greater than or equal to 8% have the greatest degree of protection against myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death or congestive heart failure, whereas an index of less than or equal to 4% is associated with the least.1,2
The Omega-3 Index also provides information about the ratio of omega-3 to less desirable omega-6 fatty acids, another factor that is considered to play a role in cardiovascular health.
The test comes packaged as a kit and requires a “finger stick” blood sample to be collected and shipped directly to the laboratory. All necessary components are included in the kit with a complete set of instructions (in English).
Your results will be sent directly to you by e-mail or mail and will take 7-20 days to receive, depending on your location and your chosen method of delivery. Once you receive them, discuss them with your own doctor. You can also call Life Extension Europe for help in understanding your test results.*
This blood test test is suitable for anyone concerned about heart disease or stroke and evaluates the success of supplementation with fish oil.
An overnight (10 hour) fast is required for this blood test.
* The blood and saliva tests are performed by an independent testing laboratory that will send the results directly to the customer. They are for informational purposes only. Specific medical advice including diagnosis and treatment can not be provided by Life Extension Europe. Always consult with a trained health care professional for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
1. Harris WS, Von Schacky C. The Omega-3 Index: a new risk factor for death from coronary heart disease? Prev Med. 2004 Jul;39(1):212-20.
2. von Schacky C, Harris WS. Cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Cardiovasc Res. 2007 Jan 15;73(2):310-5.