Omega-3 Index

Complete Test

$99.95

Complete Test

$99.95

The Omega-3 Index Complete Test measure all the fatty acids in the blood, and reports levels of all 24 fatty acids as well as the Omega-3 index, Ratios, and the Trans Fat Index. View sample report >

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Learn more about your cells with the Omega-3 Index Complete Test

This test measures:

  • Omega-3 Index
  • Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio
  • AA:EPA Ratio
  • Trans Fat Index
  • Individual fatty acid levels
What We Test?
The Omega-3 Index test measures the amount of EPA and DHA in your blood, specifically the red blood cell membrane. Membranes, or cell walls, are made of different kinds of fats called fatty acids. We have found that having a higher proportion of EPA and DHA in the membrane tracks with how much omega-3 is in your diet and is a marker of better health. Raising your Omega-3 Index to the desirable zone of 8% will help ensure you are getting enough of the right omega-3s — EPA and DHA — to protect your health.
The Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio (also written “n-6/n-3”) analyzes 7 omega-6 fatty acids and 4 omega-3 fatty acids. The total amount of omega-6s and omega-3s are divided by each other to get a ratio. We recommend a ratio of 3-5:1 (omega-6:omega-3).
The AA/EPA ratio is your level of arachidonic acid (AA), an omega-6 fatty acid, vs. eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid. These are important fatty acids in metabolism because powerful signaling molecules can be made from them. These molecules can affect anything from blood clotting to birth contractions to inflammatory responses. Having different levels of these two fatty acids could affect processes that ultimately impact inflammation and overall health.
Eating foods with trans fats made from hydrogenated oils increases the risk for heart attacks. For years, trans fats were used to make all kinds of processed foods. But because of their effect on heart health, trans fats were deemed unsafe for human consumption and are being removed from food supply chains all over the world, including the US. However, other kinds of trans fats occur naturally at fairly low levels in meat and milk products, and they seem to have health benefits. The Trans Fat Index measures the trans fats from industrial production and should be below 1%.
We measure 24 individual fatty acid levels in your blood to calculate the Omega-3 Index, Ratios and Trans Fat Index. But there is so much more to learn from knowing individual levels of fatty acids, like EPA and DHA levels, the specific omega-6 fatty acids that make up half the Ratios, and more. While there is not yet agreement in the scientific community on what many fatty acid levels “mean” for health, these values provide interesting insights into your diet and health.
Your cells are made up of fats. And that’s a good thing!
You can find out what fats make up your cells with the Omega-3 Index Complete test. Diet is not the only thing that determines your blood fatty acid levels – metabolism, genetics, gender, weight, age and other lifestyle factors all can play a role.
Optimize Your Fatty Acid Status in 3 Easy Steps
All you need to do to raise your Omega-3 Index is modify your diet to include more EPA and DHA, whether from fatty fish like salmon or omega-3 supplements. The actual amount you would need to take in order to raise your Omega-3 Index into the target range (>8%) depends in part on the starting level, but it cannot be predicted with certainty.
1 Measure
Measure
You won’t know if your fatty acid status just by tracking your diet — it must be measured.
1
2 Modify
Modify
Once you know your status, it can be optimized with simple dietary changes.
2
Monitor
3 Monitor
Testing your fatty acid every 4 months will ensure that your levels stay optimal.
3

Calculate Your Omega-3 Index Requirements

How much Omega-3 do I need to reach a desirable blood level?

Prenatal DHA

Amount of EPA+DHA needed to reach your target blood level (including current intake):

0 mg

This recommendation is meant to be a guide for how much EPA+DHA you may need in your diet to reach your Omega-3 Index target, based on research by Walker et al. 2019. Up to 3,000 mg per day of EPA and DHA is considered safe and is set as the upper limit in the calculator. We recommend you retest after 3-4 months to see if your diet changes are working for you. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any major changes to your diet. Learn more...

Also try our legacy calculator.
Research shows fatty acid levels affect health
How It Works
Order: Choose the test service you would like. The sample collection kit typically arrives in 3 to 5 days.
Collect Sample: Follow the simple kit instructions to collect your sample from the comfort of home. Once you collect your sample, mail it back to our lab with the pre-paid envelope.
Get Results: In 2-4 weeks you will receive an email letting you know your personalized results are ready.
How It Works
Order: Choose the test service you would like. The sample collection kit typically arrives in 3 to 5 days.
Collect Sample: Follow the simple kit instructions to collect your sample from the comfort of home. Once you collect your sample, mail it back to our lab with the pre-paid envelope.
Get Results: In 2-4 weeks you will receive an email letting you know your personalized results are ready.
Your results.
Supported by science.
  • Actionable:
    Fatty acid levels start changing as soon as you change your diet and lifestyle and stabilize in 3-4 months.
  • Personalized:
    Personalized recommendations based off your test results.
  • Certified:
    All samples are processed in a central CLIA-certified laboratory.
  • Validated:
    The same validated and standardized sample processing methodology used in over 200 research studies.
  • Compare:
    Reference ranges show you how you compare to your peers.
What Does Your Omega-3 Index number mean?
How can I improve my levels?
Omega-3s

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 2 servings of fish per week (see Table below), averaging out to 250 mg/day EPA+DHA. Other countries, such as Canada and Australia, recommend 400-500 mg/day EPA+DHA. The FDA has also ruled that intakes of up to 3,000 mg/day of EPA+DHA combined from foods is “Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)” and may be consumed without concern of adverse effects by all adults. There are also recommendations for specific health conditions, such as:

  • Patients with coronary heart disease – 1,000 mg/day EPA+DHA
  • Patients with high triglycerides – 3,000-4,000 mg/day EPA+DHA

Fish is the best dietary source for the omega-3s, EPA+DHA. Dietary intake of EPA+DHA directly influences Omega-3 Index.  “Fatty,” “oily,” and “cold-water” are terms used to describe fish with higher levels of EPA+DHA. A full list of fish and their EPA+DHA levels is included in your report.

Fish oil supplements are a safe and potent source of EPA+DHA. The source and form of the omega-3s in the supplements affect how well you absorb the omega-3s, as well as whether or not you take them with food. There are also vegan/vegetarian supplements which contain omega-3s produced by algae and yeast. It is important to look at the label for the amount of EPA+DHA, specifically, that the supplement contains. For example, many supplements are 1,000 mg of fish oil but only contain 300 mg of EPA+DHA. There are some examples of the EPA+DHA levels in supplements included your report.

Plant-sources of omega-3s, such as walnuts, flaxseed oil and chia or flaxseeds, contain the omega-3 ALA. To a small extent, this omega-3 can be converted into EPA (and to an even smaller extent, DHA) in the body, but it is much less effective at raising Omega-3 Index levels when compared to taking pre-formed EPA+DHA. Plant-based omega-3 sources are still healthy food choices, but they will not raise your Omega-3 Index.

Omega-6s
The primary dietary sources of omega-6s are vegetable oils and meats. The level of the primary omega-6 in your blood, linoleic acid, is influenced by the amount you eat averaged over many months. Blood levels of other omega-6s, like arachidonic acid, are mostly determined by your body’s metabolism rather than your diet. In other words, it isn’t easy to alter your blood levels of most omega-6s, and making significant changes in linoleic acid levels takes months to years. Most experts recommend somewhere between 12 and 24 grams per day of linoleic acid, with the average intake in America being around 15 grams per day.
Ratios

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults consume 6-8 grams per day of polyunsaturated fats, which include both omega-3s (~1 gram) and omega-6s (6-7 grams). These recommendations are related to avoiding an essential fatty acid deficiency, not for “optimal” health. The Omega-6/Omega-3 and the AA/EPA ratios are largely determined by the omega-3 or EPA level, respectively. So, the easiest way to improve your ratios is to improve your Omega-3 Index by eating more omega-3s! See the Omega-3s tab for more information.

Trans fats

Eating less trans fats is the only way to lower trans fat blood levels. Sometimes you may be eating trans fats without even knowing it! Since 2006 food manufactures have been required to list the trans fat content per serving on the Nutrition Facts Panel, however this a bit misleading. If a serving size has less than 0.5 g of trans fat, food manufactures are able to claim 0 g of trans fat per serving. So, food manufactures can make sure their servings are small enough so that they don’t need to list any trans fat on the nutrition label, and they might even advertise as 0 g trans fat on the front of the product! Since the Nutrition Facts Panel may not tell you the trans fat whole story, you can look for the term “partially hydrogenated oils” in the ingredients list. If this is listed, you can bet that the food contains some amount of trans fat.  Foods that likely contain trans fats are cookies, cakes, pies, microwave popcorn, margarines, coffee creamers, and biscuits. This issue should be resolved with the complete removal of trans fats from the US food supply but that process won’t be complete for (at least) 3 years (2019); until then, you can follow these aforementioned tips to avoid trans fats.

Saturated fats

Common dietary sources of saturated fat are cheese and other full-fat dairy products, meats, and baked goods. Blood levels of saturated fat are not strongly linked to eating saturated fat and their link to health outcomes is also unclear. Eating high amounts of saturated fat increases the cholesterol levels in your blood, however, which increases risk of heart disease. Interestingly, blood levels of palmitic acid, a common saturated fatty acid, are related to increased risk of diabetes and possibly excessive carbohydrate intake.

Monounsaturated fats
Major dietary sources of monounsaturated fats are nuts, avocados, and olive oil. The fatty acid most commonly associated with olive oil, oleic acid, makes up 95% of the monounsaturated fats in your cells. That does not mean that all the oleic acid in your cells is from eating olive oil! Oleic acid is made by your body in addition to being from your diet, and whether higher or lower blood levels are healthy is not clear. The dietary sources of monounsaturated fats are considered an essential part of a healthy diet, however. Another fat in this category is palmitoleic acid, and higher levels are paradoxically connected to high carbohydrate intake and possibly insulin resistance. Blood levels of this fat will respond to dietary changes in carbohydrates.
Omega-3 Supplement Calculator

The Omega-3 Supplement Calculator builds on the results from the Omega-3 Index Calculator to help you achieve your Omega-3 Index goal.  Finding the right omega-3 supplement for you can be very confusing. The most important thing in any omega-3 supplement is the amount of EPA and DHA per serving. It’s important that these values are listed on the Supplement Facts panel on the back of the bottle, instead of the general term “omega-3s.” There are other things to consider when buying a supplement, like price, source, vegetarian, fatty acid form, etc., but dose outweighs all of these when it comes to changing your Omega-3 Index.

If your supplement does not have specific values for EPA and DHA separately, do not buy the supplement! You cannot make an informed decision without the right information. Also, you can’t use the calculator without that information.

You can use the Omega-3 Supplement Calculator to compare different omega-3 supplements before buying. You can access the Supplement Facts panel for most omega-3 supplements online so you can compare how many capsules you’ll have to take with different supplements.

Fish Intake Calculator is in the works… Stay tuned!

Still have questions?
Visit our FAQ section for more information and to learn more.

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.