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Omega-3 Nutrition

$59.00

SKU: 4970011418S
The omega-3 nutrition panel tracks the levels of different types of fatty acids in the blood that are linked to heart, brain and eye health. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat in the body and several, such as the omega fatty acids, are only found in the food we eat; hence they are often referred to as “essential fatty acids”. This service can be used to assess and monitor your omega fatty acids in response to dietary and supplement intake.

COMING SOON

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Our monitoring service makes it easy

  • This is a subscription service. We’ll send you a sample collection kit every 3 months
  • Track the changes in your Omega-3 biomarker levels over time
  • Monitor your response to changes in diet and supplement intake

What's Included

Fingerprick Icon

Fingerprick sample collection kit

Secure Icon

Secure online results account

Reply Paid Icon

Pre-paid sample return

Lab Icon

Laboratory analysis

Tracking Icon

Track your levels over time

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Free shipping

Note: This service is not to be used for diagnosis or clinical management. This service is not for individuals under 18 years of age. There are also limitations and factors like medications and medical conditions that affect results – please refer to specific biomarkers for more information. Read and consider all information on this page before making your own decision about whether this service is right for you.

About This Service

HOW IT WORKS

Step 1 Order Image

Step 1: Order

Order your monitoring service online and have a collection kit delivered to your door

Step 2 Finger Prick Image

Step 2: Collect & Return

Collect a simple fingerprick blood sample and mail it back reply-paid to our lab

Step 3 Lab Analysis Image

Step 3: View your results

Your results will be delivered via our secured website

Step 4 Results Image

Step 4: Lifestyle Improvements

Make positive changes to your diet and lifestyle to improve your health and continue to track with MonitorYou

Order your monitoring service online and have a collection kit delivered to your door

Collect a simple fingerprick blood sample and mail it back reply-paid to our lab

Your results will be delivered via our secured website

Make positive changes to your diet and lifestyle to improve your health and continue to track with MonitorYou

About omega fatty acids

Omega fatty acids are a group of fatty acids found in food that are important to provide energy and support a number of functions in our bodies to keep us healthy. It is the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are of the most interest for their health benefits. Both fatty acids are termed as ‘essential’ because the body cannot make them, so they must come from the diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids

The two most important omega-3s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). You will find them mostly in oily fish such as salmon and sardines. Another type of omega-3 fatty acid is called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in plant foods such as walnuts, soybeans and flaxseeds. The body can convert a small amount of ALA into EPA and DHA.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important parts of the structure of cell walls. They are found abundantly in the eyes and brain, and this links to their key role in development and vision, especially in the early stages of life. Low levels of omega-3s during pregnancy are associated with preterm birth and potentially delayed cognitive development. In older adults, people who have higher amounts of omega-3s in their diet have a lower risk of developing a disease that affects the eye called age-related macular degeneration.

Omega-3s also have a crucial role in helping to keep the heart and blood vessels healthy and the immune system working normally. A diet rich in foods high in omega-3 fatty acids is linked with a decreased risk of heart disease. Regular consumption of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids may help to prevent blood clots, protect against irregular heartbeats, improve blood lipids and lower blood pressure.

Omega-6 fatty acids

Just like omega-3s, omega-6 fatty acids are also essential fatty acids with the main two of interest being linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA). The typical western diet is rich in omega-6s where LA dominates given its presence in vegetable oils such as sunflower, soybean, corn and canola oils. Foods derived from animals such as meat and eggs are the main dietary sources of AA plus our bodies can also make AA from LA. Hence, we use AA as the benchmark for understanding the amount of omega-6s in your diet.

Omega-6 fatty acids have more of a counterbalancing action to omega-3s. They can promote inflammation, blood clotting, and the constriction of blood vessels. But it is too simplistic to say that omega-3s are ‘good’ and omega-6s are ‘bad’. A balance between the two is needed for good health and where omega-6s are just as important for healthy brain development, heart health and a robust immune system.

Read more information on the biomarkers included in this panel here

 

Omega-3 deficiency

Australian Facts:


20% of Australians Icon

Only 20 percent of Australians are eating enough omega-3s

Eye Icon

Higher levels of Omega-3s are related to better eye health

1 Gram Fish Icon

A serving of canned fish contains over a gram of omega-3s

Fish Heart Icon

Australians who eat more fish have lower rates of heart disease

Brain Icon

Omega-3s are linked to improved mental health

What is Omega-3 deficiency?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential which means they need to be consumed in the diet. Knowing that omega-3s play important roles in brain development, immune function, vision, and blood and heart health gives a clear picture of the consequences of not having enough omega-3s

An overt deficiency of omega-3s in people in Australia is quite rare as most diets meet the minimum amount needed. Many research studies are exploring the role of omega-3s in chronic health problems such as heart disease and inflammation and the potential risk that sub-optimal intake of omega-3s in your diet might play in your health.

A deficiency of omega-3s can present as changes in the skin. Omega-3s are important for the integrity of our skin barrier and preventing the loss of moisture. Dry, sensitive and inflamed skin can be the result of deficiency. Dry, dull or brittle hair or even brittle nails are also seen with a deficiency of omega-3s.

Omega-3s play an important role in eye health and symptoms such as dry eyes have been linked to omega-3 deficiency in early research studies. That is because omega-3s are important in maintaining eye moisture.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential parts of the brain and are known to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Poor memory, mood changes, anxiety and even depression have all been linked to a deficiency of omega-3s.

Then there are problems such as joint pain arising from degradation and inflammation of tissues and joints. This relates to the protective anti-inflammatory role that omega-3s have.

Signs and Symptoms

A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids can present in different ways. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Dry, rough and scaly skin
  • Dermatitis (inflamed skin)
  • Changes in attention span, mood and memory
  • Brittle nails
  • Depression
  • Joint pain and weakness
  • Slow wound repair
  • Fatigue

Are you at risk?

A deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids can have many causes. Common risk factors include:

  • Following a very low-fat diet
  • Chronic malnutrition: poor nutrition that leads to a long term condition, stunting growth
  • Pancreatic insufficiency: where the body doesn’t make enough enzymes to digest food
  • Cystic fibrosis: that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system
  • Inflammatory bowel disease: a group of disorders that cause inflammation of the digestive tract

How to maintain healthy Omega fatty acid levels

Food With Omega-3 Image

It is said you are what you eat, and for omega fatty acids, that is especially true. As your diet changes, so too do the levels of omega fatty acids in your body.

The best dietary sources of the long-chain omega-3s of EPA and DHA are from seafood. The Heart Foundation recommends eating two to three servings of fish per week as part of a heart-healthy diet. Fish with the highest amounts of omega-3s include salmon, blue-eye trevalla, blue mackerel, herring, canned sardines, canned salmon and some varieties of canned tuna. Other good sources of marine-sourced omega-3s include barramundi, bream, flathead, squid, scallops and mussels.

The body can make a small amount of EPA and DHA from the omega-3 fatty acids found in plant foods such as walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and oils such as canola and soybean. For someone following a vegetarian diet and not wishing to eat fish, then having more of these types of foods will help with omega-3 levels.

Omega-6 fatty acids are also an important part of the diet. And while too many omega-6s compared to omega-3s can be a problem, in Australia, it is more of an issue of the types of foods that are high in omega-6s that is the concern. Highly processed foods such as take-away foods, snacks and desserts are all major contributors to omega-6 intake so eating less of these will be better for overall health. Better food sources of omega-6s include walnuts, soy foods, seeds, eggs and almonds.

Most Australians get enough omega-6 fats in their diet, so it is better to focus on increasing how much seafood and other sources of omega-3 fats you eat.