September 16, 2019
Your Omega-3 Index Questions, Answered
If you’ve been supplementing with omega-3’s or happen to know how beneficial omega-3 fatty acids are for cardiovascular health and reducing your inflammatory load, then you may have heard of the omega-3 index. If not, you definitely aren’t alone as the omega-3 index isn’t as widely talked about as the health benefits omega-3s hold for your health.
Knowing about what this index is can be extremely beneficial for your overall cardiovascular health. It can also help give you a better understanding of your unique need for supplementing with omega-3’s.
Let’s take a look at what the omega-3 index is, why it’s so important, and how exactly it’s measured. Plus, we will share how you can check your own omega-3 index with an easy to use test kit.
What is the Omega-3 Index & Why is it Important?
Technically, the omega-3 index can be considered two different things. It’s a test that can measure your personal omega-3 levels, but it can also be a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
This is why testing your omega-3 levels is so important. It can provide you with valuable information to help safeguard your cardiovascular health so you can make the necessary dietary and supplement changes if needed.
How is the Omega-3 Index Measured?
The omega-3 index is measured by checking the levels of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids in your red blood cells and reporting it as a percentage of the total fatty acids present.
When reviewing your test results, there’s a scale that helps you determine if you are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease:
- 0 < 4%= high risk
- 4-8%= intermediate risk
- >8%= low risk
When looking at the omega-3 index statistics at a global level, some regions are largely at risk for cardiovascular disease. Globally, omega-3 fatty acid levels are very low, and within the high-risk range in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, and India.
Regions that have the highest levels are Scandinavia and Japan, which are areas that do not consume a Western diet.
You can see a map below that shows select countries and where they rank on the omega-3 index scale.
Source: Stark K. et.al (2016)
How to Test Your Own Omega-3 Index
Since having optimal omega-3 levels is such a critical part of supporting cardiovascular health, you may want to consider testing to see where your levels are at.
Here at Newtrition, we offer an Omega-3 Test Kit that allows you to track your own omega-3 levels. You can test to get a baseline reading, make any necessary supplement and dietary changes, and re-test. After your levels are optimized, we recommend re-testing every 12 months to be sure that your levels are within the target range. If your levels are suboptimal, supplementing with a high-quality omega-3 supplement is key to bringing your levels up.
Ready to get started and see where your omega-3 levels are at? Check out the test kit here.