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Fatty Acids Testing

This serum test is a comprehensive profile that provides information regarding mitochondrial and peroxisomal fatty acid metabolism, and the individual's nutritional status.

The major clinical manifestations associated with Fatty Acids deficiencies include hypoketotic hypoglycemia, liver disease and failure, skeletal myopathy, dilated/hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, depression and other mood disorders, ADD and ADHD, and sudden unexpected death in early life. Signs and symptoms may vary greatly in severity, combination, and age of presentation. Life-threatening episodes of metabolic decompensation frequently occur after periods of inadequate calorie intake or intercurrent illness. When properly diagnosed, individuals respond favorably to diet therapy, supplementation, and aggressive treatment of intercurrent illnesses, with significant reduction of morbidity and mortality.

Nutrition plays a minor role in psychiatric practice which is currently dominated by a pharmacological treatment algorithm. An accumulating body of evidence has implicated deficits in the dietary essential long-chain omega-3 (LCn-3) fatty acids, eicosapenaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in the pathophysiology of several major psychiatric disorders. LCn-3 fatty acids have an established long-term safety record in the general population, and existing evidence suggests that increasing LCn-3 fatty acid status may reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. LCn-3 fatty acid supplementation has been shown to augment the therapeutic efficacy of antidepressant, mood-stabilizer, and second generation antipsychotic medications, and may additionally mitigate adverse cardiometabolic side-effects. Preliminary evidence also suggests that LCn-3 fatty acid supplementation may be efficacious as monotherapy for primary and early secondary prevention and for perinatal symptoms. The overall cost-benefit ratio endorses the incorporation of LCn-3 fatty acids into psychiatric treatment algorithms. The recent availability of laboratory facilities that specialize in determining blood LCn-3 fatty acid status and emerging evidence-based consensus guidelines regarding safe and efficacious LCn-3 fatty acid dose ranges provides the infrastructure necessary for implementation.

Through this test, our medical team incorporates LCn-3 fatty acid treatment into general medical practice and integrative psychiatric practice.