Omega-3 Index Complete

Omega-3 Index Complete

Assessing Essential Fatty Acids

While traditionally the health impact of fatty acids was mainly associated with cardiovascular disease, it is now widely recognized that fatty acids also play a crucial role in the development of other diseases including type 2 diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Thus, maintaining optimal levels of fatty acids is essential for overall health and wellbeing.

MosaicDX provides the Omega-3 Index Complete Test which assesses the fatty acid levels in blood using a dried blood spot for collection. This comprehensive test not only reports the levels of all 24 fatty acids but also includes the Omega-3 index, ratios, and the trans-fat index, providing a holistic analysis of one’s fatty acid status.

Dried Blood Spot
Turnaround Time: 1-2 weeks

Turnaround times are estimates. Detailed order tracking is available in the MosaicDX Portal.

Omega-3 Index Complete

What Patients Might Benefit from Omega-3 Index Testing?

Abnormal fatty acids status has been associated with many conditions, including but not limited to:

  • ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Certain Cancers
  • Cognitive Development
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Learning Ability
  • Oxidative Stress and Inflammation


Why Conduct the Omega-3 Index Complete Test?

Understanding and maintaining proper levels of fatty acids is a vital key to optimizing health. The Omega-3 Index Complete Test provides comprehensive information and includes the following:

Omega-3 Index

The Omega-3 Index is the proportion of long-chain omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), of all fatty acids in your red blood cell membranes. It reflects the omega-3 status of your body over the last 4 months, similar to how hemoglobin A1C reflects long-term glucose blood levels. As a part of an overall healthy lifestyle, an Omega-3 Index in the 8-12% range may help to maintain heart, brain, eye and joint health. To increase your Omega-3 Index, eat foods rich in EPA and DHA, especially “oily” fish such as those in the accompanying table. They can also be obtained from dietary supplements (fish, krill, cod liver, algal oils) and functional foods (omega-3 enriched milk, eggs, etc.).

Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio

Omega-6:Omega-3 (n6:n3) ratio is calculated by dividing the sum of seven omega-6 fatty acids by the sum of four omega-3 fatty acids in whole blood. Only one omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid (AA), and one omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), make up the AA:EPA ratio. The desirable range for the Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio is 3:1 to 5:1, and the desirable range for the AA:EPA ratio is 2.5:1 – 11:1. The desirable ranges for the ratios were calculated to correspond to the desirable range for the Omega-3 Index due to the strong relationship between among these metrics.

The Trans-Fat Index

The Trans Fat Index is the percent of 18:1 and 18:2 trans fatty acids of total fatty acids in red blood cell membranes, and the desirable range is <1%. Trans fatty acids (or trans fats) in our blood come only from the food we eat because our bodies cannot make them. Trans fats in the diet come from two sources: 1) industrial production by the “partial hydrogenation” of vegetable oils, in which liquid oils are converted into solid fats to be used in processed foods, and 2) meat and milk products of ruminant animals, like cows and goats. The fatty acids that make up the Trans Fat Index were chosen because they were typically found in processed foods, but a small amount may come from ruminant sources.

Learn More About the Omega-3 Index Complete: Explore FAQs


The Omega-3 Index Complete can help determine if supplementation or dietary changes are needed to reduce related symptoms and support optimal health.

Below is a comprehensive list of fatty acids the profile includes along with a brief description and key analytes:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fatty acids that are needed in the diet since the body cannot produce them. The four types of omega-3 fatty acids are ALA, EPA, DHA, and DPA n-3. ALA is mainly derived from soybean oil and is recommended to be consumed at 1.5 grams per day. Sources rich in ALA are chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts. EPA and DHA are not dietary essentials, but they have health benefits. The recommended daily intake for EPA and DHA varies between 250 mg/day to 500 mg/day for generally healthy adults and 1000 mg/day for patients with known heart disease. While a target range for the Omega-3 Index has been set at 8%-12%, there is not enough research to recommend a target blood level for ALA or DPA n3.

Key Analytes Include:

  • Alpha-Linolenic
  • Eicosapentaenoic
  • Docosapentaenoic
  • Docosahexaenoic

Omega-6 Fatty Acids consist of 7 fatty acids, with linoleic and arachidonic acids being the most prominent. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, while arachidonic acid is produced internally by the body. The intake of linoleic acid is recommended to be between 12 and 24 grams per day, with the average American consuming around 15 grams per day. Omega-6 fatty acids have been a topic of debate for their effects on heart health. However, most studies have shown that higher levels of linoleic acid in the diet are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Similarly, higher levels of arachidonic acid in the blood have been associated with lower rates of heart attacks. Hence, omega-6s are not “bad” for heart health but are, in fact, good. However, at present, it is difficult to define a healthy arachidonic acid level.

Key Analytes Include:

  • Linoleic
  • Gamma-Linolenic
  • Eicosadienoic
  • Dihomo-g-linolenic
  • Arachidonic
  • Docosatetraenoic
  • Docosapentaenoic

cis-Monounsaturated Fatty Acids include four fatty acids, with oleic acid being the most prevalent. Oleic acid is not an essential fatty acid as it can be produced by the body. The role of oleic acid in heart health is controversial, with some studies suggesting higher is better and others suggesting the opposite. Hence, no strong science-based recommendation for target oleic acid levels in the blood can be provided. Most vegetable oils are rich sources of oleic acid, with olive and canola oils being among the richest. Palmitoleic acid, another fatty acid in this class, is a marker of excess carbohydrate in the diet. Levels below 0.5% are probably better than levels above, but research in this field is immature, and no firm target values can be set.

Key Analytes Include:

  • Palmitoleic
  • Oleic
  • Eicosenoic
  • Nervonic

The Omega-3 Index report lists 6 saturated fatty acids that differ chemically from unsaturated fatty acids in that they lack double bonds, resulting in straight carbon chains. These saturated fatty acids, such as palmitic and stearic acids, stack together easily and solidify at room temperature, making products like butter and lard solid. Diets high in palmitic acid may raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart attacks, but the link between palmitic acid intake and heart disease is still unclear. However, higher levels of palmitic acid in the blood are linked to a greater risk of diabetes. Therefore, it is recommended to keep palmitic acid levels below the average of 23% to reduce the risk of diabetes. Replacing foods high in saturated fats with those higher in unsaturated (particularly polyunsaturated, omega-6 and omega-3) is still a good idea.

Key Analytes Include:

  • Myristic
  • Palmitic
  • Stearic
  • Arachidic
  • Behenic
  • Lignoceric

Trans fatty acids contain at least one double bond that differs in orientation from the natural “cis” orientation in the fatty acid molecule. Trans fatty acids act more like saturated than unsaturated fatty acids because they straighten out the molecule. Most trans fatty acids in our diets come from an industrial process called “partial hydrogenation” that converts liquid oils to solid fats. These industrially-produced trans fatty acids are bad for heart health and should be avoided. The target blood trans-fat level is less than 1%, which is associated with no increased risk for heart disease.

Key Analytes Include:

  • Palmitelaidic
  • Elaidic
  • Linoelaidic
  • Trans Fat Index

The Full Fatty Acid Profile Report includes two fatty acid ratios: the omega-6:omega-3 ratio and the AA:EPA ratio. While these ratios may be useful to some practitioners, the Omega-3 Index is the most informative and actionable component of the report. Consuming more EPA and DHA is the quickest and most efficient way to improve these ratios, rather than reducing omega-6 intake. It is not recommended to reduce omega-6 intake, as this has been associated with increased risk for heart disease. Target values for these ratios that correspond to an Omega-3 Index of 8% – 12% are: omega-6:omega-3 ratio, 3:1–5:1; AA:EPA ratio, 11:1–2.5:1.

Key Ratios:

  • AA:EPA
  • Omega-6:Omega3

Sample Reports

The Omega-3 Index Complete test report displays the percentage whole blood levels for the following fatty acid groups:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids
  • cis-Monosaturated Fatty Acids
  • Saturated Fatty Acids
  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • Ratios

Test Prep and Instructions

MosaicDX offers patient-friendly sample collection kits that simplify testing. Our kits include visual, step-by-step instructions for test preparation and sample collection, personalized shipping cards, and pediatric collection bags if needed. With MosaicDX, patients can easily collect samples for testing with confidence and accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

The ordering process for MosaicDX tests starts with your healthcare practitioner assessing your symptoms and recommending the most appropriate test.

Once a test has been recommended, collection kits can be conveniently ordered and delivered straight to your doorstep. If you already have a collection kit, you can register your test and begin the process at your convenience.

It is important to carefully follow the collection instructions and include all required information about yourself and your specimens when registering your test. When your specimens are collected, you can use the prepaid shipping materials provided in your kit to ship them to MosaicDX. Your results will be accessible online via the MosaicDX portal. We recommend scheduling an appointment with your healthcare practitioner to discuss your results and develop a plan for your healthcare

If you are located outside of the U.S., our customer service team can assist you in finding a distributor in your country. In countries where a distributor is not required, you can place an order through our international patient ordering site. Please note that all international shipping costs must be paid prior to shipping the kit.  

  • Flax seed oil as source of ALA from which EPA and DHA are synthesized
  • Fish oil or cod liver oil as direct sources of EPA and DHA
  • Evening primrose oil, borage oil or black currant oil as source of GLA if insufficiently synthesized
  • Hemp oil as source of both ALA and GLA

  • Lowers LDL and increases HDL cholesterol; decreases blood clotting time
  • 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
  • Treatment for autoimmune disorders, kidney disease, PMS, RA, MS
  • Improves skin integrity

Different states have regulations that define the scope of practice for practitioners. It is the practitioner’s responsibility to abide by these rules. Check with your state board of health to determine any restrictions related to laboratory testing. Please note, Mosaic Diagnostics does not offer testing in New York. 

Once you have opened your account, you have the options of ordering kits to stock in your office or drop-ship kits directly to your patients through your MosaicDX portal.   

Watch our short tutorial videos on how to conveniently  

Already have a kit? Watch this video on how to place an order for your patient using a kit from your inventory.   

Please refer to your test’s specific Test Preparation and Instructions for more information regarding the potential effects of medications, foods, and supplements on this test. 

You make also consult your healthcare provider prior to making any changes to your medications.

Visit the payment information page for an overview of payment options and procedures along with insurance coverage overview.

NOTE: Insurance coverage for testing is based on several factors such as the type of procedure, diagnosis, and insurance policy guidelines. Patients are encouraged to contact their insurance company to check for coverage and to provide the procedure codes (CPT codes) and diagnostic codes (ICD-10 codes). The CPT codes can be found on the billing information page, while ICD-10 codes are provided by the practitioner.

Mosaic Diagnostics offers written interpretations within test reports and complimentary consultations with our clinical educators for qualified practitioners. To schedule a consultation, simply sign in to your MosaicDX account and book a consultation online. 

We encourage all patients to discuss results with your practitioner.

Our Resources tab also contains educational materials that you may find useful, we also offer MosaicEDGE workshops for qualified practitioners to better understand the fundamentals of lab testing.

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Clinical References