About this Omega 3 test review
Omega-3 is a type to fatty acids that is good for health. It is important to maintain normal levels of omega-3 in the body. To ensure that you have normal omega-3 levels, various lab and home tests can be performed. You might have heard or seen some pictures of home health test kits before. There’s a plethora of them out there and each is unique and specific in the way it analyses the blood levels.
In this article, we will be going in-depth on omega-3 home test kits and discuss all you need to know about them.
What is an Omega-3 Home Test?
These are the home test kits that provide you an opportunity to know about your omega-3 levels in the comfort of your home. Like any other home health test kit, the process involves 3 main steps:
- You buy it (online)
- You do the test sampling or get sampling done from a nearest lab
- You submit the sample away for analysis
Some home test kits can produce the results at the spot.
These tests work by analysing the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
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However, for the omega-3 and fat profile testing home test kits, the type of sample collection may differ. When testing for your omega-3 fatty acid profile, you would purchase an omega-3 test kit which requires a blood sample from your finger. Some may require to draw a venous sample using a syringe.
What can a Omega 3 test kits tell you ?
In general, omega-3 Index test kits would provide you the following data (1):
- Omega-3 Index
- Trans fat index
- Omega-6: Omega-3 ratio
- AA:EPA ratio
- Full fatty acid profile: omega-3, omega-6, monounsaturated, saturated and trans fats
These kits come with an instruction manual that helps you interpret the results. In case you fail, you can always contact your family doctor to help you.
What are Different Types of Omega-3?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are good for health. PUFA means they have multiple double bonds. Different names are determined according to the location of a double bond. In omega-3 fatty acids, the bond is between third and fourth carbon atom from the tail end. There are three different types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- α-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in plant oils)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (found in marine oils)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (found in marine oils)
There are plant sources such as canola oil, flaxseed oil, soybean oil etc (2). The following image shows plant sources of omega-3.
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The main animal source of omega-3 is from fatty fishes. Thus, fish oil supplements are high in omega-3 as well.
The downside of utilizing these are your key supplier of omega 3 fatty acids would not be the best because of the high omega 6 content. Excessive or high intakes of omega 6 can actually be an indirect cause of omega 3 deficiency (3, 4).
Who should Use an Omega-3 Home Test Kit?
Omega-3 level test kits help identity whether the omega-3 serum levels are optimal or not. You might be an optimistic person and say “It’s probably not me.”
Let’s take a look at the groups who are vulnerable to omega-3 deficiency and why an omega-3 home test kit would be highly recommended.
List of susceptible groups who should be tested includes:
- People on a western diet
- People who do not take fish
- Depressed people
- People with FADS1 and FADS2 gene mutation 
If you are planning to get pregnant, you should do a quick finger-prick blood sample test to find out if you have enough omega 3 fatty acids (6).
If you are pregnant and plans to breastfeed, you can and should get an Omega 3 home test kit using drops of breast milk sample to find out if it contains sufficient omega 3 which is crucial for your baby in brain development (7).
Thus, the above listed groups should take a home omega-3 test to ensure that their omega-3 levels are normal.
Depression and Omega-3 Levels
Depression has a close association with omega-3 deficiency. Many studies have confirmed the fact that people who are omega-3 deficient are more vulnerable to depression. Deficiency of such fatty acids not only increases the susceptibility to depression but also affects the outcome of the disease (8).
Some studies confirmed this fact by administering high doses of such fatty acids and considerable improvement was noticed (9).
How can it affect your Organization?
As you know, studies have shown people with lower omega 3 and higher omega 6 are more likely to have inflammation and depression (10). Keeping the fact in mind, home test kits can help your organization. It will help ensuring that your organisation’s employees are in good health that is crucial for increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.
Also, they do not need to trouble themselves or take a day-off to attend a doctor’s appointment if they simply got their own omega-3 home test kit.
Elderly and Omega-3 Deficiency
Elderly people are more susceptible to omega-3 deficiency because of improper diet and it can further lead to various health issues. Research has proven that decreased omega-3 levels can be a contributing factor to many diseases. Omega-3 supplementation can help treat diseases like depression (11). It is also good for individuals who have suffered a brain injury as it fastens the healing process (12).
The risk of microbleeds increases with the age. Older people keep getting such small brain injuries (13). These brain injuries can further lead to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (14). All this vicious cycle can be stopped only by ensuring normal omega-3 levels. Home test kits are the best option for older age group.
Where should you get tested?
There are two ways to get yourself tested; at home or at doctor’s clinic/lab. However, deciding where you want to get tested can be confusing at times. Let’s into pros and cons of both.
- Easy to perform
- Do not have to go anywhere
- Perfect option for initial testing
- Sometimes inaccurate
- Interpretation issues can be faced
- Interpretation made by doctor
- Doctor makes the right choice
- Expensive than home testing
- May require a day off from work
The cost of getting tested at a doctor’s clinic includes doctor’s fee and test fee. A home testing kit, on the other hand, costs way less and comes with different prices. Some are more accurate than others so choosing a good quality kit can eliminate accuracy issues.
The Different Types of PUFA and Omega-3 Home Test Kits in the Market
There is a variety of home test kits available in the market. There are different classifications. Sex-based classification includes:
- Fingerstick Blood Sample Test (Omega 3 serum test) that is for both sexes
- Omega-3 Breast Milk Sample Test for breastfeeding women
Another classification is based on type of PUFAs that a test kit measures.
- Some tests solely measure omega-3 levels like Omegas Diagnostic
- Some test perform whole PUFAs profile including omega-6, omega-7 and omega-9 like Omega-3 Index Test
Some Good PUFA and Omega-3 Deficiency Home Test Kits
Home health test kits are very easily available. Most of them are shipped to US, UK, Australia, while some are shipped worldwide. Most of them are not certified by FDA because it does not require you to administer anything to your body.
Professional laboratories analyse your blood sample and ensure confidentiality throughout the process. Following are the details about a few tests.
Home test kits provide a great opportunity to find out omega-3 deficiency at an early stage. They give you a chance to correct it before other associated symptoms start to appear. Being able to perform a test in the comfort of your home is a big privilege. It is easy and cheap.
Once you are diagnosed with any such deficiency, you can take following steps to correct it.
- Include seafood in your diet
- Cook your food in plant oils that are rich in omega-3
- Take supplements including omega-3
In case of omega-3 deficiency, you should also contact your doctor for further consultation and treatment.
(1): LifeExtension – Unknown date of publishing – Omega-3 Index Complete – http://www.lifeextension.com/Vitamins-Supplements/itemLC100066/Omega-3-Index-Complete
(2): National Institute of Health (NIH) – Omega-3 Fatty Acids – https://ods.od.nih.gov
(3): Smartdrugsmart – 2015/05/22 – OMEGA-3 SHOOT-OUT – https://smartdrugsmarts.com
(4): Smartdrugsmart – 2013/12/18 – DR. GOMEZ-PINILLA AND THE IMPACT OF DIET AND EXERCISE ON COGNITION – https://smartdrugsmarts.com
(5): Medical Xpress – 2016/12/07 – One specific gene explains many diseases – https://medicalxpress.com
(6): BabyMed – 2011/12/13 – Omega-3 and Breastfeeding – https://www.babymed.com
(7): Medical Xpress – 2012/09/20 – A mother nutrition – before pregnancy – may alter the function of her children’s genes – https://medicalxpress.com
(8): NCBI – 2004/11/09 – Omega-3 fatty acids and major depression: A primer for the mental health professional – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC533861/
(9): NCBI – 2016/07/27 – Supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Psychiatric Disorders: A Review of Literature Data – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4999787/
(10): NCBI – 2011 – Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191260/
(11): NCBI – 2018 – Systematic review and meta-analysis of omega-3-fatty acids in elderly patients with depression. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29540267
(12): NCBI – 2016/06/28 – The Role of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Stroke – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940554/
(13): NCBI – 2015/08/11 – Cerebral Microbleeds Are Associated With an Increased Risk of Stroke: The Rotterdam Study. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26137955
(14): NCBI – 2015 – Microbleeds, Mortality, and Stroke in Alzheimer Disease: The MISTRAL Study. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25798556