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Fatty Acids Profile
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Code: LEFA
Price: $242.00
Shipping Weight: 2.00 pounds

General Information

Specimen is 1.0 mL of washed (EDTA) RBC's

Red blood cells are preferred over plasma or serum. RBCs have a long life and RBC membrane fatty acids are said to correspond closely with the fatty acids found in brain cells. Two fatty acids that the body cannot make are omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA), and the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA). The ratio of the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in prehistoric times was about 11. By the year 1900, the ratio was around 41. Today, due to fast foods and the use of vegetable oils in cooking, the ratio is over 201. A good ratio would be about 1.2 to 4.5.

Both LA and ALA are transformed into long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids which are 20 carbons or more in length. The 20-chain FA form eicosanoids which form prostaglandins or thromboxanes (via the cycloxygenase enzyme) or leukotrienes (via the lipoxygenase enzyme). If an imbalance occurs, excess prostaglandin E2, an inflammatory promoting compound, may be formed.

Some conditions associated with fatty acid imbalance are arthritis, skin problems, allergies, IBS, some autoimmune diseases, ADHD, depression, senile dementia, and aggressive behavior. An imbalance may also be seen in lactating or pregnant women.

Profile Includes Omega-6 fatty acid family (linoleic, gamma linolenic, dihomogammalinolenic, arachidonic, total omega-6); Omega-3 fatty acid family (alpha linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic, total omega-3 omega-6 to omega-3 balance); Monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic, nervonic, total monounsaturated); Saturated fatty acid family (palmitic, stearic, total saturated); Unsaturated to Saturated Ratio.

Normal Values:

The accepted normal ranges established in our laboratory for RBC fatty acids are:

Omega-6 Linoleic acid (LA) 90.0 to 182.0 uM/L Essential fatty acid
Gamma linolenic (GLA) 0.7 to 3.5 uM/L Eicosanoid precursor
Dihomogammalinolenic acid (DGLA) 11.0 to 31.0 uM/L Eicosanoid substrate
Arachidonic acid 90.0 to 250.0 uM/L Eicosanoid substrate
Total Omega-6 191.7 to 466.5 uM/L

Omega-3 Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) 0.5 to 2.9 uM/L Essential fatty acid
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 4.0 to 20.0 uM/L Eicosanoid substrate
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 14.0 to 90.0 uM/L Neurological development
Total Omega-3 18.5 to 112.9 uM/L
Arachidonic acid to EPA ratio 5.0 to 13.0 uM/L

Monounsaturated fatty acids Oleic acid (OA) 120.0 to 260.0 uM/L Membrane fluidity

Total monounsaturated fatty acids 330 to 839 uM/L

Saturated fatty acids Palmitic acid 210.0 to 370.0 uM/L Highly cholesterogenic
Stearic acid 215.0 to 375.0 uM/L Elevated triglycerides

Total Saturated fatty acids 425.0 to 745.0 uM/L

Unsaturated to saturated fatty acid ratio 0.78 to 1.13

Trans fatty acids Elaitic(C-18) 2.0 to 10.0 uM/L

Processing Time: 7 to 10 business days

Processing Method: The methodology is by gas chromatography.

Synonyms: EFA, RBC

Fatty Acids Profile

Collection Instructions

Specimen Collection: View/Print Instructions (PDF)

CPT Code: 82725 (x11)
Patient Preparation: None
Special Instructions: None
Specimen Volume: 1 mL EDTA RBC, washed 1x
Minimum Volume: 0.4 mL
Collection Container: EDTA tube
Transport Container: Plastic transport tube
Transport Instructions: Freeze
Causes for Rejection: Gross Hemolysis
Fatty Acids Profile


(1) Nigel Plummer, Gastrointestinal Health, Essential Fatty Acids & Their Impact on the Immune System, Seroyal Workshop.

(2) Bralley, A., Lord, R. Laboratory Evaluations in Molecular Medicine: Nutrients, Toxicants, and Cell Regulators, IAMM, Norcross, GA., 2001: pp 134-173.

(3) Erasmus, U. Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, 1986, Alive Books, Burnaby, BC Canada.

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