What number you ask? Your Omega-3 Index number or perhaps better stated; your omega-3 levels. Why is this number so important? Omega-3s play a critical role in in just about all aspects of health because they are a key component of each and every cell membrane in your body. Omega-3 deficiency is linked to Heart Disease (number 1 killer of Americans), Mental Health Disorders (Depression, ADD, ADHD and even brain development), Memory, Inflammation and so much more. Omega-3s are called Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs because your body needs them to survive and since your body cannot make them, they need to come from either your diet or a supplement
You may have also heard of other EFAs known as Omega-6s. It is now well accepted that the average diet is high (comparatively speaking) in these Omega-6 compared to Omega-3s. The typical American diet tends to get too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3. The ideal intake ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is between 1:1 and 4:1. This means for every gram of Omega-6 you need one gram of Omega-3. Regretfully, most Americans have a ratio between 10:1 and 25:1. The imbalance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is linked to health challenges such as heart attacks, cancer, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Obesity, Diabetes, asthma and more. This imbalance in the ratio is the primary reason I recommend the use of Omega-3 fatty acids and not supplements that contain Omega-6.
Until recently I had suggested that we all supplement with Omega-3s from a marine source such as fish or krill and to take standard amounts. My philosophy has now changed and I am recommending that we ALL get tested to see where we stand. You may think that you eat enough fish or take enough in supplement form, but what if you are wrong? Is your Omega-3 deficiency going to lead to a major health problem? Knowing Your Number may save your life. Consider this, the average American has an Omega-3 number (percentage) somewhere below 4 and yet research says that a number that low increases the risk of cardiovascular death 90%. In people with heart disease, those with an Omega-3 index (percentage) above 4.6% lived longer than those with lower levels.
Similar to a cholesterol test, an Omega-3 Index test will give you a sense of your cardiovascular risk – a low Omega-3 Index = high cardiovascular risk. The index or percentage of Omega-3s found in your blood cells should be 8% or higher to truly put yourself at low risk for other health issues related to Omega-3 deficiency. By taking simple dietary steps like increasing your consumption of foods or supplements rich in omega-3s EPA & DHA, your Omega-3 Index will rise. You can choose from a variety of options such as omega-3-rich fish like salmon or omega-3 supplements such as krill oil. Measuring your omega-3 level via the Omega-3 Index test is a great first step toward better health.
If you are interested in learning more about Omega-3 testing and learning your number, go to one of these 2 websites:
Each site will explain how they work and how to participate in research currently going on with regards to Omega-3 blood levels and the impact on health and wellness. I recently had my test done in March and scored a 9.6. I do eat salmon at least once a week and take 1500-3000mg of Krill Oil (Superba Krill) per day as a supplement. I prefer Superba Krill to fish oil for 3 primary reasons:
- Krill oil capsules are very small which make it easier to swallow. And since I take a bunch of supplements already it makes it even easier to get them all down.
- Krill oil capsules are “BURP-FREE”. One of the biggest complaints about fish oil is the fishy smell and burping that occurs. With my Superba Krill oil I don’t have that problem.
- Krill oil contains additional healthy nutrients not found in fish oil such as astaxanthin (one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants), phospholipids (krill’s omega-3s actually mix with the stomach contents and helps get the omega-3s to places the body needs them most—in the most efficient manner. Simply stated they increase bioavailability) and choline (a key nutrient in the neurotransmitter production, memory, brain health, heart health, liver health, and so much more).
Take time today and “Learn your Number.”