Standardizing methods for assessing omega-3 fatty acid biostatus

William S. Harris, Clemens von Schacky, Yongsoon Park

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Omega-3 Index is the sum of EPA+DHA in RBC membranes expressed as a percent of total fatty acids. Typical levels range from 3% to 9%, with a US average value of between 5%-6%. The Index is a marker of tissue EPA+DHA and therefore reflects an individual's EPA+DHA status. The Omega-3 Index fulfills most of the criteria for a valid biomarker. In routine clinical practice, the Omega-3 Index can be used to assess baseline n-3 fatty acid status and to check for compliance with a recommendation to increase the n-3 fatty acid intake. In the research setting, the Omega-3 Index can likewise document compliance, both to confirm that those assigned to the n-3 fatty acid group followed instructions and that those assigned to placebo did not take n-3 fatty acid off protocol. In addition, the Omega-3 Index can be used as an inclusion criterion in trial design to confirm that only individuals most likely to benefit from n-3 fatty acid treatment are included. The widespread clinical implementation of the Omega-3 Index will allow clinicians to detect n-3 "insufficiency", to better stratify patients with respect to risk for disease, and it could ultimately contribute to a reduced burden of chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency Syndrome
Subtitle of host publicationOpportunities for Disease Prevention
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages385-398
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781624177033
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Harris, W. S., von Schacky, C., & Park, Y. (2013). Standardizing methods for assessing omega-3 fatty acid biostatus. In The Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency Syndrome: Opportunities for Disease Prevention (pp. 385-398). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..