While dietary fatty acid deficiency is rare, people who suffer from it could experience different debilitating effects. However, it’s quite difficult to establish whether you have it or not. After all, the symptoms could be an indication of other conditions.
The chances are that if you are on this page, you have good reason to suspect a possible fatty acid dietary deficiency. If that’s the case, consider ordering fatty acid lab tests with Ulta Lab Tests today. We offer a highly accurate and reliable test to screen for abnormal levels of fatty acids along with other dietary deficiencies. But first, you may want to understand what this condition is all about and whether you have a reason to be concerned.
Keep reading to learn more about what a dietary fatty acid deficiency is. We will cover a general overview of dietary fatty acid deficiency and the test that can be used to diagnose or deny the condition.
What is a Fatty Acid?
Fatty acids are simply energy storage units that usually makeup components of cell membranes. They are an important composition of:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
- Tissue cells
- Plasma phosphatidylcholine.
The body usually acquires fatty acids through the consumption of dietary fat. It’s nearly impossible for the body to produce fatty acids on its own, which is why it’s integral for individuals to ensure that they are consuming enough fatty acids in their diet. There are only two forms of fatty acids that are considered essential to humans. These are:
- Omega-3 fatty acid (alpha linolenic acid)
- Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid)
Other fatty acids are generally considered conditionally essential, meaning they might be essential for people with specific developmental conditions or diseases.
Why are Essential Fatty Acids Important?
Essential fatty acids are essential to your health. Your body needs an adequate intake of enough dietary fats to perform a number of vital functions. Some of these functions are:
- Joint and bone health
- Energy storage
- Neurological health
- Hair, skin, and eye health
- Mental health
- Minimizing risk factors for heart disease
Of course, there are many other factors than the one listed here. Still, a proper intake of dietary fatty acids isn't simply supplementary to your health. It’s absolutely necessary.
What Is Fatty Acid and Omega Deficiency?
Dietary fatty acids deficiency is also commonly referred to as essential fatty acids deficiency (EFAD). And just as the names indicate, it’s a lack of adequate fatty acid levels in the body. In many cases, it means an inadequacy in terms of linoleic acid or alpha-linolenic acid levels in the body.
It’s quite a rare condition, both in adults and children. Fortunately, EFAD is fairly uncommon in the US and can be caused by an inadequate intake of dietary fats. It’s a lot more common to have a deficiency in DHA and EPA, which are Omega-3 fatty acids.
What are the Main Causes of Deficiency in Fatty Acids?
The main cause for fatty acid deficiency is when an individual lacks adequate dietary fat intake. Adequate dietary fat intake can be ascertained by making sure you eat the proper amounts of the following foods:
- Cooking oils
- Fish oil
- Animal fat
Eating whole foods is a great way to ensure that you’re consuming dietary fats. However, many individuals take Omega-3 supplements like vegan omega-3 supplements or fish oil to boost their otherwise inadequate dietary fat intake. Studies even show that there’s a link between reduced heart disease deaths and the higher omega-3 intake.
What Are the Risk Factors for Omega and Fatty Acids Deficiency?
The US has a great number of fatty food sources, and EFAD is quite uncommon. Still, there are individuals who develop this condition through fat-free or low-fat diets. For these cases, raising the dietary fat intake might be enough to regulate the essential fatty acid levels.
People at the end-stage of liver disease might also suffer from EFAD. This condition is part of a host of other problems related to malnutrition that people suffering from liver disease may experience. There are also populations that are specifically at risk for developing EFAD, both due to environmental or developmental conditions. The populations might suffer from conditions like:
- Fat malabsorption conditions
- Chronic malnutrition
- Sjogren-Larsson syndrome
- Acrodermatitis enteropathica
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Deficiency in Dietary Fatty Acids?
Essential fatty acid deficiency could be manifested through several signs and symptoms. Some of these include:
- Scaly, dry rash
- Increased frequency of stools
- Slowed growth rate
Which Lab Tests Can Diagnose, Screen, and Monitor Deficiencies in Dietary Fatty Acids?
At Ulta lab tests, we offer an omega-3 and omega-6 test to screen and diagnose any deficiencies in omega-3 and omega-6. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid lab test is conducted as outlined below:
- The patient has their blood drawn to provide a plasma sample
- The plasma will then be tested for omega-3 and omega-6 levels
- Once results are available, they are posted to the patient’s secure online patient portal
Why Choose Ulta Lab Tests for Fatty Acids and Omega Deficiency Lab Testing?
We offer reliable and highly accurate lab tests, enabling you to make informed decisions about your health. Below are some of the things you will love about Ulta Lab Tests:
- Every patient gets confidential and secure results
- Patients don’t need health insurance
- Affordable pricing for all tests
- No need for physician’s referral
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
Place your omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid test order today to find out if you have any deficiencies in your fatty acid levels. Your test results will be confidentially and securely sent to you online within 24 to 48 hours for most tests.
Take control of your health today by contacting Ulta Lab Tests today.