Measurement & Calculations
How your results are calculated
• The Omega-3 values are an important part of the calculations
• You need high Omega-3 values to have good results in the calculations
Several studies have shown that the fatty acid profile of circulating blood lipids reflects your dietary fat intake and, in turn, it is related to your health status [23, 24, 25, 26, 27]. The fats present in your blood reflect the types of fats your body has available to make energy and to develop cells, including cell membranes, as well as tissues. The dietary essential fatty acids Omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) and Omega-3 Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) must come from the diet as the body itself is not able to produce them. The dietary essential Omega-6 Linoleic acid (LA) is converted in the body to Omega-6 Arachidonic acid (AA). The dietary essential Omega-3 Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is converted in the body to Omega-3 Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Omega-3 Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as shown in Figure 1. However, ALA from vegetable sources is not sufficiently converted to marine EPA and DHA in the body. Therefore, EPA and DHA must be provided by direct intake of products from marine sources.
Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are stored in cell membranes. When Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, such as Omega-6 Arachidonic acid (AA), Omega-3 Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Omega-3 Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are released from cell membranes, they are converted into powerful local “hormones”. These local “hormones” control inflammation and smooth muscle contraction throughout the body. It is the production of these local “hormones” from their precursor fatty acids AA, EPA and DHA that determines whether your diet is pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. Long-term pro-inflammatory diet can be devastating to your health.
The good heart health of Greenland Eskimos led scientists to suspect that high fish consumption might be protective . A 20-year study of 852 middle-aged Dutch men consuming at least 30 grams of fish per week showed they had good heart health, compared with men who did not eat fish . A 30-year study of over 2,100 Chicago men who ate at least 35 grams of fish daily also showed they had good heart health, compared to those who ate none . One of the most important effects of marine Omega-3’s EPA and DHA from fish on heart health is their ability to inhibit ventricular fibrillation and consequent cardiac arrest in primary and secondary prevention .
Figure 1. The metabolism of Omega-6 Linoleic acid (LA) to Omega-6 Arachidonic acid (AA) and vegetable Omega-3 Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to marine Omega-3 EPA and DHA
The level of marine Omega-3’s EPA and DHA is an important determinant in many health processes, especially lifestyle-related health processes. For more information about Omega-3 levels and diseases, please read the scientific literature with reference numbers 6, 8 and 32. The marine Omega-3 Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is the most important Omega-3 fatty acid found in muscles and liver, while the marine Omega-3 Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is dominant in the eyes, semen and cerebral cortex. The Omega-3 fatty acid DHA is essential for the normal function and development of the brain and retina, particularly in premature infants. Being essential for prenatal brain development, DHA makes up 40% of the membrane phospholipid fatty acids in the brain. Proper DHA consumption has been associated with multiple health benefits, including brain and retinal development, slowing the aging process, memory formation, synaptic membrane function, photoreceptor biogenesis function, and neuroprotective function [10, 33, 34].
The ratio of Omega-6 (AA) and Omega-3 (EPA) should preferably be below 3:1 (green value). If this ratio is above 3:1 (yellow or red value) you may benefit from changig your diet according to our “How to change your diet guide”.
Figure 2. Unbalanced and pro-inflammatory diet
Figure 3 shows that among the first 45.331 individual samples analyzed in our laboratory, the majority has an Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA) imbalance and should improve their dietary habits. This conclusion is the same after evaluating 400.000 samples (as of June 2019) as well.
Figure 3. Omega-6 (AA) / Omega-3 (EPA) Balance should preferably be below 3:1, as indicated by the green line, coinciding with the preferred Omega-3 level.
A normal balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 is important for maintaining normal cell and tissue development (homeostasis), and it also helps the body control inflammation. These fatty acids are precursors to local “hormones” such as prostaglandins, leukotriene and thromboxane that regulate inflammatory processes, as well as smooth muscle contraction and relaxation.
An imbalance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids has been observed in many lifestyle-related health issues. For more information about Omega-6/Omega-3 imbalance and diseases, please read the scientific literature with reference numbers 7, 12 and 16. A proper, balanced and anti-inflammatory diet of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids is critical for the health of all pregnant women and their babies, since the developing brain and nervous system of the baby requires large and balanced amounts of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids that must come from the mother [35, 36]. A good balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids will support mental health and nerve function, a healthy heart and circulatory system, stomach, intestine and lung function, and even healthy skin (see Research, in-house development projects).
Figure 4. Balanced diet
Arachidonic Acid (AA) Index
Arachidonic acid (AA) is the most important Omega-6 fatty acid for the body. It is the starting point for the production of local tissue hormones triggered by Omega-6, such as prostaglandins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes. These tissue hormones are involved in inflammatory activities and are a major cause of pain. Inflammation is a physiological process which occurs in response to an infection or an injury. The overall function of acute inflammation is to protect the body from damage by limiting the progression of the infection or the impact of the injury. Sustained (chronic) inflammation may be harmful to your body.
The AA Index shows the measured value of the Omega-6 fatty acid Arachidonic acid (AA) as a percentage out of the total fatty acids measured. Good average values are in the range of 6.5 to 9.5% with an optimum target value of 8.3%. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to an AA level below 5% (in the yellow or red range on the scale), while others to a level above 10% (in the yellow or red range on the scale). The first group may want to increase their intake of good dietary sources of Arachidonic acid (AA), e.g. eggs and meat products from grain-fed animals such as chicken, while the second group may benefit from avoiding dietary sources rich in AA.
The AA percentage is a factor in several of our calculations and if your AA value is below 5% or above 12%, then it has an unwanted effect on some of the values shown in the test results.
Figure 5. Arachidoinic acid % target value is 8.3%
Figure 5 shows that based on 42,489 individual samples analyzed in our laboratories, the majority have an optimal AA level. The conclusion is the same after evaluating 369,000 samples as of April 2020.
A low AA level can result from impaired enzyme activity in the synthesis of AA (Figure 1) or inadequate Omega-6 Linoleic acid (LA) consumption due to a fat-free or severely fat-restricted diet. Low levels of AA may lead to more frequent infections or delayed wound healing [37, 38].
Cell Membrane Fluidity
Figure 6 shows that based on the ‘Cell Membrane Fluidity’ of the first 45,329 individual samples analyzed in our laboratory, the majority has an imbalance and should improve their dietary habits. This conclusion is the same after evaluating 400,000 samples (as of June 2019) as well.
Figure 6. Cell Membrane Fluidity should preferably be below 4:1.
Cell membrane composition and structural architecture is critical for the health of the cells and hence the body. On the one hand, the membrane needs to be rigid enough to provide sound cellular structural architecture. On the other hand, the membrane needs to be fluid enough to let nutrients in and waste products out, as well as permitting the free floating of cellular receptors in its phospholipid bilayer. Cellular receptors in the phospholipid bilayer are binding places or “docking stations” for hormones and other bioactive nutrients that affect the life of cells. An example is cholesterol particles transporting fatty acids and other fat components from the liver to the cells. The yellow protein on top of the cholesterol particle (Figure 7) is connecting to the receptor on the cell membrane surface to deliver fatty acids and other fat components to the cell. Ideally, the freely floating cellular receptors should be moving around on the membrane surface like a boat on a river.
Figure 7. Freely floating cellular receptors and a cholesterol particle that carries fatty acids and other fat components in the blood from the liver to all of the cells in the body.
Figure 8 shows that as far as the “Mental Strength” of the first 45,331 individual samples analyzed in our laboratory is concerned, the majority has an imbalance and should improve their dietary habits. This conclusion is the same after evaluating 400,000 samples (as of June 2019) as well.
Figure 8. Mental Strength should preferably be below 1:1
The figure below shows that reduction in this index significantly affects a number of factors linked to mood-related wellness . There is ample evidence that imbalances in the fatty acid profile can induce depression [40, 41]. Marine Omega-3’s EPA and DHA may also act as mood-stabilizers [42, 43].
Daily administration of 3 g of marine Omega-3’s EPA and DHA for 3 months significantly decreased feelings of anger and anxiety among substance abusers, compared with the placebo group . Several clinical studies show that cognitive performance improves with increased consumption of anti-inflammatory marine Omega-3’s EPA and DHA [45, 46, 47]. Childhood and old age are two critical and vulnerable stages of life when the supply of marine Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) is fundamental to good brain function. In these periods, Omega-3 deficiency is associated with learning and memory deficits, as well as mood swings.
The possible mechanism may be that when neurons are stimulated with neurotransmitters, both marine Omega-3’s (EPA+DHA) and Omega-6 Arachidonic acid (AA) are released from membrane phospholipids and metabolized in the brain, giving rise to a series of bioactive compounds such as prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes, lipoxins, resolvins and protectins, including neuroprotectin D1 from free DHA. These bioactive local “hormones” can modulate and influence several pathways relating to neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and noradrenalin that affect the rate of heart contractions, acetylcholine affecting sustained attention, and dopamine affecting reward-driven learning in the brain [48, 49, 50].