This new paper by Stark et al. attempted to estimate worldwide omega-3 status by extrapolation from published data derived from multiple sample types. Different studies have used different specimens (plasma, serum, whole blood, red blood cells, etc) and/or measured different fatty acids (e.g., EPA+DHA+DPA) to define “omega-3 status.” This makes combining and comparing data from a bunch of studies difficult when the metric is different. To remedy this problem, the authors stated, “In order to compare the omega-3 PUFA status across the globe, EPA+DHA in erythrocytes [the Omega-3 Index] was selected over other omega-3 PUFA blood biomarkers, as it has been well defined in the literature previously.” This essentially identifies the Omega-3 Index as THE biomarker of choice for defining omega-3 status.


As shown in the map, the countries with the highest Omega-3 Index values were those in Scandinavia, the Sea of Japan and areas where indigenous people do not eat a Western diet. The areas with the lowest Omega-3 Index values were North and South America, parts of the Middle East and India. Considering the traditional diets of these countries, the Omega-3 Index values match what we would expect to see.


This new study represents a major step forward in the effort to create a consensus around one biomarker that all researchers should use to define omega-3 status in their studies – the Omega-3 Index. As we at OmegaQuant Analytics have long championed, this test provides the simplest, most easily interpreted and most readily improved of all the potential omega-3 test metrics. This will also accelerate the introduction into clinical medicine of the Omega-3 Index as the biomarker of choice in patient care.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This test is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent or mitigate any disease. This site does not offer medical advice, and nothing contained herein is intended to establish a doctor/patient relationship. OmegaQuant, LLC is regulated under the Clinical Laboratory improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and is qualified to perform high complexity clinical testing. The performance characteristics of this test were determined by OmegaQuant, LLC. It has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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