19 Mar 2018

Back in the early 1990’s when I first started investigating the Western Diet and its implications concerning nutritional health, information outside of the National Library of Medicine was sparse. Few books existed at that time that gave us insight into the menace this diet was creating in our bodies. With the advent of the internet and social media, information began to spread much more quickly but finding and interpreting medical information still remained a challenge.
As I researched information from the National Library of Medicine for my first book about Trans fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fats, I soon realized that much of the nutritional knowledge I gleaned from that homework was not in the textbooks, let alone being taught to the health care providers across America. And, that knowledge was essential for me to help my patients be able to restore nutritional health. What that homework taught me was that two essential fats that are required for normal healing of wounds, fighting infections, keeping our immune systems in balance, maintaining neurologic function, preventing cancer and heart disease and many others not mentioned here are omega-3 and omega-6 fats.
Our body cannot manufacture those two fats so we must consume them on a frequent basis in order to maintain health. Both fats are required and in a balanced way. Omega-3 fats stop inflammation and strengthen our nervous system while omega-6 fats cause inflammation. Too much omega-6 fat produces an inflammatory state just as no omega-3 fat allows for the same effect in our bodies. No data exists to show that the balance of too much omega-3 fat can be deleterious. Entire cultures, such as the Inuit indigenous populations of the Arctic and the Maasai people of Africa, consume far more omega-3 fat in their diets than those of us who live on the Western Diet. They do not suffer from cancer, heart disease or the inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases found in the Western world.
I was researching for my third book, The Lyons Lifestyle, and discovered that the technology had advanced to the point that we can now measure omega-3 and omega-6 fat content in our bodies in a very accurate way. You see, we store these fats in our cell membranes until the body calls on those fats for the maintenance of nutritional health. If you cut yourself, the body is signaled to heal the wound so omega-6 fat metabolism kicks into gear and starts the inflammatory process to initiate the healing. Once healing has occurred, the omega-3 fats are activated to slow down that inflammation and bring the wounded tissue back to its natural state.
We make new red blood cells every day and their survival in our bodies is 120 days. Technology now allows us to measure the omega-3 and omega-6 content in those red blood cells and give us a window into the dietary content of our intake of those fats in the past four months. The Food and Drug Administration approved the blood test early last year. Since then, I have measured omega levels in about 1500 patients. I have only tested individuals who were already supplementing their diets with omega-3 supplements. The Western Diet is inherently omega-3 fat deficient and it would be a waste of time and money to measure these levels if patients were not already trying to rebalance their omega status.
As it turns out, only six individuals had adequate omega-3 levels and fewer had sufficiently low levels of omega-6 fats to not be overly inflamed from their diets. Balancing these fats in our diet is vitally important for nutritional health. It is very important in so many of my patients as they suffer from fatty liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease and the like. This blood test has been highly beneficial in counseling my patients concerning their dietary choices, omega-3 supplementation and improving their medical conditions that are under my purview.
If you are wondering whether you are getting enough omega-3 fat or are consuming too much omega-6 fat in your diet, ask your health care provider to get your blood tested with OMEGA CHECK. You may be surprised by the results. Roughly ninety nine percent of my patients were omega-imbalanced and all of them were on omega-3 supplements. Good luck on rebalancing your omega’s.
Dr. Lyons
References: Lyons Lifestyle, 2016; 42 Days to a New Life, 2007.