Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 18 June 2019
Omega 3 supplements are one of the most frequently recommended supplements for a wide range of health reasons. But are they really necessary, especially when you eat a healthy diet and include food sources of omega 3 like salmon, almonds, and walnuts in your diet?
I knew the answer was probably yes, just from personal experience and over 15 years experience with patients, but I like to be a scientist and try to confirm that experience is not just a bias that I am operating from.
So when the lab I use for other functional testing on patients (like food allergy testing, hormone testing, and comprehensive digestive stool testing) started offering a blood test that analyses your fatty acid profile, I was in.
I had been very delinquent in taking my fish oils since I come home from my hiking trip in August, so now was the perfect time to see if I actually needed them.
Here are some of my results:
As you can see they are not good! My omega 3 index scored in the intermediate risk zone, my whole blood omega 3 score is in the high risk zone, and my AA: EPA ratio (omega 9: omega 3) is in the severely inflammatory zone. In fact it couldn’t be worse, I’m slightly off the chart…What???
The evidence couldn’t be clearer. I need to be taking my fish oil on a regular basis regardless of how good my diet is.
And if I need to be taking my fish oil on a regular basis, chances are you do too!
If you are interested in getting this test done on yourself, book an appointment, and we can help!
This test measures omega-3, omega-6, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, omega-3 index, omega-3 whole blood score, and AA to EPA ratio. Cost is $179.
For more information you can read the patient information sheet here: http://rmalab.com/sites/default/files/tests/spec_sheets/20180709_pt_fap.pdf
Now I would love to hear from you! How often do you wonder if you actually need to be taking a certain supplement? Leave a comment below and I’ll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!
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3 Replies to “Should you be taking an omega 3 supplement?”
Michelle, what are the benefits of optimal omega 3 levels?
That’s good information.
Good question Denise – optimal levels of omega 3 levels reduce inflammation that is at the root of most chronic disease, optimizes brain and nervous system function, and provides the building blocks for hormones. You can search almost any disease and omega 3’s in PubMed and find research supporting their use.