Do you want to know your risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression or weight management? Then know your Score!

Do you want to know your risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression or weight management? Then know your Score!

13:49 18 October in News
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I’m a big advocate of people understanding and incorporating essential fatty acids into their daily diets. Did you know that sufficient intake of Omega 3 fatty acid can reduce your risk of mortality by as much as 30 per cent! (Mortality is defined as the risk of dying from any illness.) Insufficient intake of key Omega-3 fatty acids may be considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.

To better understand your score, I am excited to announce that my patients now have the ability to test for their Omega-3 fatty acid intake and more importantly, assess their overall risk of disease.

The media has talked about fatty acids, and there is no disputing their beneficial effects on our health. Fatty acids are a part of our cell membranes and play a critical role in helping our cells communicate with one another. With trillions of cells in our bodies, imbalances in fatty acids can occur frequently and have wide-reaching effect. In short, having the right fatty acids is an important factor in maintaining good health.



Lets talk about Fats!

Two main groups of fatty acids exist: The good and the bad.

Good Fatty Acids: Also known as essential fatty acids – because they have to be obtained from our diet – include the Omega 3 and Omega 6. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in primarily in fatty fish, fish oil, flax oil and grass fed animal meats. On the other hand, Omega 6 fatty acids are more abundant in our diets and are found in grass fed animal meats, grains, borage and evening primrose oil, and black currant seed oil. While Omega 6 fatty acids are important to our health, consuming too much of it compared to the Omega 3 can lead to inflammation and other illnesses.

Based on research, we must pay close attention to the ratio of these fatty acids. To reach optimal health, the ideal ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is 1:1. Unfortunately, North American diets provide a ratio closer to 1:20 or 20 times more Omega 6 than is necessary. High intake of Omega 6 is associated with inflammation and an increased risk of developing various diseases, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, depression, and arthritis. 

Bad Fatty Acids: Trans fats and saturated fats, found in meat, dairy, and processed foods have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and numerous other conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Minimize your intake of bad fatty acids.



Conditions Associated with Insufficient Omega-3 Intake

Omega – 3 fatty acids exert a powerful ability to reduce inflammation in the body. Many of today’s chronic illnesses are a result of inflammation and these include, but are not limited to the diseases listed below:

Heart Disease: Some of the best evidence for Omega-3 fatty acids is in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Optimal intake of Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to either reduce the risk of heart disease, or reduce the risk of a second heart attack.

Aging: A high intake of Omega-3 fatty acids is associated with improved markers of aging. So – having enough Omega-3’s can help to keep you young!

Cancer: Too much bad fats and not enough good fats have been associated with an increased risk of developing various cancers such as colorectal, lung and breast.

Diabetes: A low intake of Omega-3 fatty acids has been correlated to a higher incidence of developing adult onset, or type 2 diabetes as well as other disorders of metabolism such as weight gain and hormonal imbalances.

Depression and mood disorders: A high amount of bad fats, compared to the Omega-3 EPA, has been correlated with an increased incidence and severity of depression. The ratios of the key Omega-3’s EPA and DHA are also important. Most fish oils provide these in a 3:2 ratio, but mood disorders respond better to high amounts of EPA.

Arthritis and Chronic Pain: Research supports that lowering inflammation using Omega-3 fatty acids helps to improve symptoms of arthritis and other pain syndromes.



The Good News:
We can now determine whether you have the optimal levels of Omega-3 fatty acids to effectively reduce your risk of developing disease!

The Omega-Quant test has been used by researchers for years to measure fatty acid intake, and this test is now available to YOU! This test is simple: it requires an in-office finger prick and is affordably priced.



What does the test tells us?

Think of this test as a dashboard in your car. This test will give you feedback on the following:

Determines the percentage of Omega-3 in your blood relative to other fatty acids: As I mentioned before, maintaining proper ratio is key to optimal health. Research shows that those people with low scores have the greatest risk of sudden death from heart attack (up to ten times the risk of those in the highest category). Imbalanced ratios may signify high amounts of inflammation – a process correlated to numerous conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer, and depression. People with high scores have been shown to have slower rates of chromosomal shortening, an important marker of aging.

Evaluates your body’s ability to convert alpha-linolenic acid: If you are a vegetarian and supplementing your diet with flaxseed, pumpkin seed, or hemp seed oil, this test can tell you how well you are able to convert the alpha-linolenic acid in these foods into EPA and DHA required for health promotion and disease prevention.
Measures the amount of arachadonic acid: A good indicator of how much inflammation exists in the body. Elevated levels have been found in those who suffer from neurological inflammatory, allergic, and skin diseases



Take the test: It’s not all about consuming more Omega-3 fatty acids

At first blush, the answer seems simple: Take more Omega-3 fatty acids supplements and forget the test. Remember the ratio balance is the utmost importance. To make sure that you are getting the maximum benefit from Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, you need to know that you are:

  • Taking the right amounts of Omega-3
  • Taking Omega-3 in the right ratio
  • Absorbing the Omega-3 well
  • Not eating too many “bad” fats like trans and saturated fatty acids.

Fatty acid imbalances may be a result of illness, or may produce biochemical changes that contribute to illness. Testing helps you and your health care professional figure out whether you are getting the optimal range of Omega-3 fatty acids for your health.



A call to action…

As simple as a finger prick can start you down the road to optimal health and reduce your risk of illness. To find out more about the Omega-Quant test or to schedule an appointment for testing with Dr. Suzanna Ivanovics, Naturopathic Doctor, please phone the clinic at 416-972-9355 or email Dr. Ivanovics directly



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