You can get omega-3 and DHA from your diet through various food sources of omega-3 and/or from supplements. Dietary omega-3 is predominantly found in fish and other seafood. Although omega-3 can be obtained from plant sources, they are mainly in the form of Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) and their conversion to DHA and EPA is low (ranging from 0.1 to 10%)* If you are worried about fishy odour, concerned about the presence of heavy metals in fish and other seafood or have dietary restrictions then omega-3 supplements are a great choice to help you to achieve optimal omega-3 and DHA levels. *Reference: Effeciency of conversion of ALA to long chain Omega-3 Fatty acids (DHA and EPA), link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11844977/
Omega-3 can be found in a variety of foods such as:
1. Fish and Seafood: A variety of fish and seafood are great sources of Omega-3s. Fish such as salmon, mackarel, tuna, herring and sardines are low in mercury and excellent choice. It is recommended to avoid fish that are known to have high amounts of mercury for example king mackerel, swordfish and big eye tuna. for a full list, you can refer to the FDA advice on fish.
2. Flax seeds, Chia seeds
4. Plant oils (flax, chia, canola)
5. Other fortified foods (eggs, yoghurt, milk, beverages)
Read here about omega-3 consumer advice: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/ ; https://www.nutrition.org.uk/bnf-publications/briefingpapers/n-3-fatty-acids-and-health.html ; https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/advice-about-eating-fish ; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sacn-advice-on-fish-consumption
No, the personalisation takes into account the omega-3 that you have been getting from your regular diet so you can continue to keep the same dietary habits. However, if you do make changes to your dietary habits over a prolonged period we recommend that you re-take the test to accurately reflect your omega-3 levels.
Testing can provide you an omega-3 dose that is personalised to your needs. Eating fish or taking omega-3 supplements does not always correlate with high omega-3 DHA levels. Many other factors may affect omega-3 status, which include but are not limited to genetics, BMI and stage of pregnancy. Therefore testing will give a true reflection of the status in blood and milk.
You can find out your omega-3 DHA levels by testing with the Pre&Postnatal DHA Tests suitable for the maternal stage you are in: pre-conception, pregnancy or breastfeeding. The testing can be done easily form the comfort of your home. One drop of blood or milk is all you need! Once you perform the test using the instructions, simply mail it back to our partner lab* with the return envelope and wait for your test results. This is a convenient, at-home test of omega-3 DHA levels (in blood or milk) using a single dried blood or milk spot.
*OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC is certified according to the EU Regulations and provides high quality analysis and reliable omega-3 DHA results. In the UK, OmegaQuant is working together with the University of Sterling in Scotland.
You can test your omega-3 levels as often as you prefer. Re-testing every 8-12 weeks will confirm that your omega-3 DHA levels have improved with your dietary / supplement changes and will help tailor your personalised doses.
Pregnancy: current scientific evidence supports a personalised dose recommendation based only on your first test of your omega-3 baseline value (<20 weeks of pregnancy)* and this dose will be continued throughout the pregnancy irrespective of future tests. However, if you would still like to re-test to confirm your actual omega-3 DHA levels in your blood, you can choose to take the test again, but your recommendation will not change.
*Reference: Omega‐3 fatty acid supplementation in pregnancy—baseline omega‐3 status and early preterm birth: exploratory analysis of a randomised controlled trial, link: https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1471-0528.16168 ; Omega-3 fatty acid addition during pregnancy, link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30480773/
Lactation: we recommend you re-test your levels every 8-12 weeks to ensure optimal breastmilk concentration of DHA and omega-3, since it is the sole source of DHA for your baby. After every test your recommendation will be optimised based on your actual level of omega-3 DHA in your breastmilk.