Essential & Metabolic Fatty Acids Analysis
This test evaluates the level of red cell membrane fatty acids, imbalances of which significantly affect inflammatory and other disorders. By knowing the various fatty acid levels, one can re-establish a balance using nutritional intervention.
This comprehensive profile allows practitioners to accurately assess dietary intake and metabolism of fatty acids in each patient. Precise, custom-tailored nutritional intervention is then made possible.
Fatty acids comprise some of the most essential nutrients in the human diet. They are critical for cell membrane structure and function as well as local hormonal signaling. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are transformed into local hormonal mediators called eicosanoids. Eicosanoids regulate all stages of inflammation, including initiation, propagation and termination. This process is vital to the ability of the body’s immune system to repair and protect itself. Fatty acids are also crucial components of neural membranes and receptors that ensure proper intracellular communication within the brain and nervous system.
The Clinical Significance of Fatty Acids:
The number of diseases whose clinical course can be affected by fatty acid therapy is enormous. These include:
- Inflammatory disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hormonal disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
- Senile neurological degeneration
- Mental and behavioral disorders such as depression and ADHD
- Hair and skin related conditions, such as dermatitis, alopecia, brittle nails coarse dry hair and frequent infections
The Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio:
EFA imbalances have been cited by some experts as the most widespread nutritional problem in modern times.
- The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats has increased dramatically due to the widespread use of vegetable oils, rising from about 4:1 for Americans at the beginning of the twentieth century to about 20:1 at the present time.
- Increased consumption of saturated fats and decreased consumption of omega-3 oils (cold water fish and flaxseed oil) have also contributed to the growing prevalence of these imbalances.
- Some individuals with a healthy dietary balance of fatty acids may still have biochemical abnormalities that interfere with their ability to properly metabolize those fats. They may require more targeted supplementation.