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Essential Fatty Acid Testing

Only two fatty acids (linoleic acid and linolenic acid) must be taken in the diet. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid plentiful in the diet and linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid more difficult to obtain. Deficiencies of essential fatty acids are associated with hair loss, dry or peeling skin, diarrhea, eczema, fatigue, aggression, dry brittle hair, eating disorders, excessive thirst, gallstones, growth impairment, immune deficiency, hyperactivity, and impaired wound healing. Essential fatty acids can be deficient due to inadequate dietary intake, diarrhea, loose stools, inadequate production of pancreatic enzymes, or inadequate production or secretion of bile or bile salts. A blood essential fatty acid evaluation is the only way to determine adequacy of fatty acid intake and metabolism.


  • Evaluation of adequacy of fatty acids in diet
  • Indications for dietary change
  • Specific guidance for fatty acid supplementation

Fatty Acid Benefits

  • Lowers LDL and increases HDL cholesterol
  • Anti-arrhythmic, anti-inflammatory effect that benefits heart tissue
  • Structural in brain and retinal tissue; improves learning and memory
  • Critical in fetal and infant development
  • Improves hyperactivity in children and depression in adults
  • Treatments for autoimmune disorders, kidney disease, PMS, RA, MS
  • Improves skin integrity

Treatment options

Depending on test results, suggestions can include varying doses of

  • Flax seed oil as source of ALA
  • Fish oil or cod liver oil (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)
  • Evening primrose oil, borage oil or black current oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Chia seeds (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)

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Aetna Anthem Care First Cigna United Health Care