Those of you who have been to see me for a consultation will know that I often use tests in my practice. I don’t like to work with assumptions, so if the budget is available I will always encourage my clients to take a test to explore underlying causes of their health conditions.
I use a wide range of tests to provide information about digestive status, including gut flora analysis and parasite detection; hormone testing; nutritional status testing to determine individual levels and requirements of specific minerals and vitamins; and food sensitivity testing. Yesterday I received my results for a test I became aware of last month.
Igennus’ Opti03 test is a simple finger prick blood test that gives you an insight into your levels of Omega 3, and provides you with an insight into your risk of various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, mental health disorders and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and asthma.
The test provides you with a breakdown of all the fatty acids in your blood as a percentage, and then provides you with 3 key biomarkers.
The first biomarker is your Omega -3 index. This is the amount of EPA and DHA long chain Omega 3 fatty acids within red blood cells, and reflects fatty acid levels in the body. A low Omega 3 index is associated with neurodevelopmental and mental health disorders, and heart disease. A high Omega 3 index is associated with decreased inflammation and oxidative stress (cell damage), and a reduced risk of developing depression and dementia.
I am quite happy with my result of 6.36 as it falls in the desirable zone, but there is more to be done for my index to be optimal, and above 8.
Helpfully the test recommends, based on your body weight and current consumption of oily fish, your daily recommended dose of Omega 3.
The next biomarker is your Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. Many of us consume far too much Omega 6 (from vegetable oils used in processed foods) in comparison to Omega 3 (from oily fish). Omega 6 fats are generally more inflammatory than Omega 3 fats, so we need to keep this ratio in balance. An ideal ratio should lie between 3.0 and 4.0, and unfortunately mine is a little high at 4.91. In order to improve this I need to consume more Omega 3, possibly via supplementation, and less Omega 6.
The final biomarker is the AA to EPA ratio. Arachidonic acid (AA) is an inflammatory Omega 6 fat, and needs to be kept in balance with EPA, an anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acid. This ratio is more specific than Omega 6 to Omega 3, and gives a deeper insight into the risk of developing inflammatory based conditions. A result over 7 suggests that the body is in a state of silent inflammation and at a higher risk of developing inflammatory based conditions.
I am quite shocked at my result of 8.51 as my diet is good and I eat oily fish more than 3 times a week. Having discussed it with the lab it could be due to eating a lot of shop bought hoummous, which is predominately made with vegetable oil which is primarily Omega 6. A friend (who is also a Nutritional Therapist) told me today that Waitrose and M&S both stock hoummous that is made with Olive Oil (Omega 7), so I will be buying that from now on, and making my own hoummous once my new kitchen is fitted.
If you are interested in taking this test, then please call Emily on 07967 639347.