I have just returned from a very enjoyable trip to Hawaii. I especially enjoyed my stay at Kalani Resort on the Big Island -www.kalani.com – lots of good food and pleasant accommodation. 


Swami Odo Breathe Video



Discussing Omega-3 Test Results with Health Practitioner



As I noted in the previous post, I just got back blood test results for Omega-3. The results put me just higher than Quebec Inuit for percent Omega-3 in total HUFA (highly unsaturated fatty acids), and somewhat less than Japan and Greenland. I am pleased with the results. However, in the letter with the results is a suggestion that my “health practitioner may find” the test results useful in formulating medical or dietary advice. However, I doubt that my doctor has any knowledge at all about Omega-3, and probably would be skeptical that there are  any real benefits. If anyone has had experience with a health practitioner who seems to have demonstrated expertise in this area, feel free to comment.

Omega-3 Blood Test Results

The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produ...

The evening primrose flower (O. biennis) produces an oil containing a high content of γ-linolenic acid, a type of n−6 fatty acid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have copied below the results of an Omega-3 blood test obtained recently. (I just discovered the availability of this test recently on the internet – the cost was about Can$165). It is interesting to get an indication of my blood levels of Omega-3 since until now, I was guessing as to appropriate intake of Omega-3 supplements. The results show quite high Omega-3 levels and low Omega-6 levels compared to the North American averages. These results seem pretty good and I will probably maintain my current Omega-3 intake (flax seed, flax seed oil and high EPA fish oil).  The cover letter with the results also provides a summary of the benefits of Omega-3s.

The test organization does not suggest a GLA target. My GLA percent is small, but about 30% higher than the North American average. Since I have only recently started GLA supplements, and likely have a long term deficiency, I will probably try to double my intake for another 12 months, and then maybe get another set of test results.

May 16, 2013
Dear Swamiodo,
Congratulations on completing The Vital Omega-3 and 6 HUFA Test™ – the easy, evidence-based way to measure and manage the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your blood.
There may be no simpler, safer, or more cost-effective path to disease prevention than to adjust your diet to achieve healthful blood levels and proportions of these vital nutrients.
We hope you will use the test results on the following pages – and our explanations of their meaning – to plan and achieve a healthier diet that reduces your risk of ill health.
Introduction: Why Your “Omega Balance” Matters
The acronym “HUFA” stands for Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids, which are essential food factors that we convert into hormone-like agents that influence inflammation and much more, and have receptors on nearly every cell in the body.
A substantial body of scientific evidence indicates that maintaining a healthful dietary balance of omega-3 and omega-6 HUFA can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other common, chronic, physical and mental health problems*.
Humans evolved in adaptation to hunter-gatherer diets that contained a roughly equal balance of omega-3s and omega-6s. But modern diets contain much higher proportions of omega-6s, from common vegetable oils (e.g., corn, soy, cottonseed) and the processed foods made with them, as well as from seeds, nuts, grains, and grain-fed meats and poultry.
This historically unprecedented “omega imbalance” matters, for the following reasons (Lands WE 1992):
• Chronic, low-level inflammation promotes cardiovascular disease and many other degenerative conditions.
• Inflammation is controlled in large part by hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which arise from the omega-3 (DHA and EPA) and omega-6 (AA) fatty acids in our cell membranes.
• Omega-3s in our cells (DHA and EPA) mostly yield prostaglandins that tend to moderate inflammation.
 Omega-6s in our cells (AA) mostly yield prostaglandins that tend to promote and maintain inflammation.
 Omega-6s compete with omega-3s for absorption into our cells and the hypothesis that excess intake of omega-6s drives many major diseases rests on persuasive evidence.

1. Your Vital O-Mega Scores™ – Ranking your heart risk
This reveals your Percent Omega-3 in HUFA, your Percent Omega-6 in HUFA, and your estimated heart risk based on those test results.

Omega-3 57%    Omega-6  43%

(US average Omega-3 24%;  Omega-6 76%)

18:2w6   Linoleic (LA)
My reading – 20.19 %
typical US average – 25.10 %
18:3w6  Gamma-linolenic (GLA)
My reading – 0.32 %
typical US average – 0.24 %

GLA and Inflammation

Wikipedia indicates that LA (Omega-6)  is converted in the body to GLA, and that  usually LA is consumed sufficiently in most diets. However, the efficiency of the conversion may decrease with age or disease. Interestingly, while most Omega-6s (like LA) are inflammatory, dietary GLA is anti-inflammatory overall. Thus if you are concerned about inflammation, you may want to consider supplementing with GLA in addition to Omega-3s. Dr. Chilton at Gene Smart recommends 400 mg of GLA each day. Good sources are Borage oil and evening primrose oil.

“Essential for Optimal Health” – Daily Omega-3 Intake Chart

This is a chart from a brochure from the Ascenta Company.

Krill Oil Better Than Regular Fish Oils?

Antarctic krill Euphausia superba.

Antarctic krill Euphausia superba. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More ‘traditional’ omega-3 supplements – such as cod liver oil and fish oil – on the market are based on omega-3 fatty acids bound to triglycerides or bound as ethyl esters, whereas krill oil contains a large number of omega-3 fatty acids bound to phospholipids, stated the researchers

Several previous studies have investigated krill oil, and there is growing evidence to suggest that the molecular form of omega-3 fatty acids may be of importance in their biological functions, as well as in the distribution of the omega-3 in the body. Previous research demonstrated that, when given to rats in equal amounts, krill oil and fish oil had different effects, with krill oil resulting in stronger effects in relation to metabolic syndrome.

A detailed description of the fatty acid profile of krill oil has revealed a high content of phospholipid omega-3 fatty acid, and may aid future product development. The study, published in Lipids provides a characterization of the phospholipid fatty acids profile of krill oil, revealing a high presence of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. “Krill oil provides the majority of its omega-3 fatty acids in the form of phospholipids, whereas other common marine oils contain omega-3 fatty acids in the form of triglycerides or ethyl esters,” wrote the researchers, led by Bjørn Winther at the University of Oslo.

The study was partially funded by Aker BioMarine ASA and was performed by researchers at the University of Oslo, in co-operation with researchers from Aker BioMarine. The krill oil tested was Superba Krill Oil, provided by Aker BioMarine ASA.

Source: Lipids
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1007/s11745-010-3472-6
“Elucidation of Phosphatidylcholine Composition in Krill Oil Extracted from Euphausia superba”
Authors: B. Winther, N. Hoem. K. Berge, L. Reubsaet