How to read your test results
Topics
switcher
How to read your test results
  1. Zinzino BalanceTest
  2. Fatty acids profile value
  3. Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) level (%)
  4. Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA) Balance
  5. Arachidonic Acid (AA) Formation Efficiency
  6. Saturated fat/Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) Balance
  7. Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) Balance


    .

1. Zinzino BalanceTest

The Zinzino BalanceTest evaluates the level of fatty acids in blood samples obtained from a fingertip.  The test measures 11 fatty acids, which together contributes to approximately 98 % of the fatty acids in the blood. The fatty acids includes saturated-, monounsaturated- (omega-9) and polyunsaturated (omega-6 and omega-3) fatty acids as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Fatty Acids measured in Zinzino BalanceTest

 

The fatty acid profile derived from the analysis is used to calculate 6 different Dietary Indicators:

  • Fatty acid profile value
  • Omega-3 (EPA +DHA) level (%)
  • Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA) Balance
  • Arachidonic Acid (AA) formation efficiency
  • Saturated fat/Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) Balance
  • Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) Balance

These indicators are subsequently used to design and provide effective personalized dietary and supplementation guidance.  

2. Fatty acids profile value

The ‘Fatty acid profile value’ is calculated from an equation combining all the long chain essential fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3), the Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) level and the Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA) Balance. If your ‘Fatty acids profile value’ is higher than 90 % (green value) your diet is balanced and anti-inflammatory.  However, if this value is lower than 90 % (yellow or red values) you may benefit from changing your diet according to our “How to change your diet guide”.

 

Several studies have shown that the fatty acids profile of circulating blood lipids reflects dietary fat intake, and in turn it relates to health status [23, 24, 25, 26, 27]. The fats present in blood reflects the types of fats your body has available to make energy and to develop cells and tissues, including cell membranes. The dietary essential fatty acids omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) and omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) must come from the diet as the body is not able to produce them itself. The dietary essential omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) is converted in the body to omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA). The dietary essential omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is converted in the body to  omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as shown in Figure 1. However, ALA  from a vegetable source is not sufficiently converted to marine EPA and DHA in the body and must be compensated by direct intake of EPA and DHA from marine sources.


The  Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are stored in the cell membranes. When Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, such as  omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA), omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are liberated from the cell membranes, they are transformed to powerful local “hormones”. These local “hormones” control inflammation and smooth muscle contraction throughout the body. It is the production of these local “hormones” from their precursor fatty acids AA, EPA and DHA that decides whether your diet is pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. A long term pro-inflammatory diet can be devastating to your health.


 
The good heart health among Greenland Eskimos led scientists to suspect that high fish consumption might be protective [28]. A 20-year study of 852 middle-age Dutch men consuming at least 30 grams of fish per week showed good heart health when compared with men who did not eat fish [29]. A 30-year study of over 2,100 Chicago men who ate at least 35 grams of fish daily also showed good heart health when compared to those who ate none [30]. One of the most important effects of marine omega-3 EPA and DHA from fish in heart health  is their ability to inhibit ventricular fibrillation and consequent cardiac arrest in primary and secondary prevention [31].

 

Figure 1.  The metabolism of omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) to omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) and vegetable omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to marine omega-3 EPA and DHA.

 

3. Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) level (%)

The 'Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) Level' is the combined percentage value of the marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA out of the total value of fatty acids found in the blood.
 
The  level of marine omega-3 EPA and DHA should preferably be above 8 % (green value) of the total fatty acids. If the level drops below 4 % (red value) the body may experience difficulties in maintaining normal cell and tissue development (homeostasis). If the level is below 8 % (red or yellow value) you may benefit from changing your diet according to  our “How to change your diet guide”.

 

The  level of marine omega-3 EPA and DHA is an important determinant in many health processes, especially life style realted health processes. For more information about Omega-3 levels and diseases, please read the scientific literature in reference number; [6, 8, 32]. The marine omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is the most important omega-3 fatty acid found in muscles and liver, while the marine omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is dominant in the eyes, semen and cerebral cortex. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is essential for the normal functional development of the brain and retina, particularly in premature infants. DHA being essential for pre-natal brain development accounts for 40 % of the membrane phospholipids fatty acids in the brain. Proper consumption of DHA has been associated with multiple health benefits including brain and retinal development, aging, memory formation, synaptic membrane function, photoreceptor biogenesis function, and neuroprotection [10, 33, 34].

 

4. Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA) Balance

Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA) Balance is measured as the ratio between the eicosanoid producing 20 carbon atom long “vegetable” omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) and marine omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This ratio is an approximate expression for the distribution between vegetable fatty acids and fish fatty acids in the diet consumed. A surplus of vegetable omega-6 fatty acids will make a diet unbalanced and pro-inflammatory (Figure 2).


The ratio of Omega-6 (AA) and Omega-3 (EPA) should preferably be below 3:1 (green value).  If this ratio is above 3:1 (yellow or red value) you may benefit from changig your diet according to our “How to change your diet guide”.

 

Figure 2. Unbalanced and pro-inflammatory diet

 

Figure 3 shows that among  the first 2,322 individual samples analysed  in our laboratories the majority have Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA) imbalance and should improve their dietary habit. This conclusion is the same also after evaluating 50,000 samples (per June 2014).  

 

Figure 3. Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3(EPA) Balance should preferably be below 3:1, as indicated by the green line coinciding with the prefered Omega-3 level.

 

A normal balance of omega-6 and omega-3 is important for maintaining  normal cell and tissue development (homeostasis) and help body control inflammation. These fatty acids  are precursors for local “hormones” such as prostaglandins, leukotriene, and thromboxane that regulate inflammatory process as well as smooth muscle contraction and relaxation.

 

Imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids have been observed in many life style related health issues. For more information about omega-6/omega-3 imbalance and diseases, please read the scientific literature in reference number; [7, 12, 16]. A proper balanced and anti-inflammatory diet of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is critical for the health of all pregnant women and their babies, since the developing brain and nervous system of the baby requires large and balanced amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that must come from the mother [35, 36]. A good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids will support mental health and nerve function, a healthy heart and circulatory system, stomach, intestine and lung function, and even healthy skin (see Research, In house development projects).

 

Figure 4. Balanced Diet.

5. Arachidonic Acid (AA) Formation Efficiency

Arachidonic Acid (AA) Formation Efficiency is measured as the ratio between the essential omega-6 fatty acids arachidonic acid (AA) and linoleic acid (LA) in percentage. This index reflects how efficiently the dietary omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) is converted into omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) in your body.


The AA Formation Efficiency should be above 30 % (green value) to support the body’s need for omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA). If it is below 30 % (yellow or red value) you may benefit from changing your diet according to our "Special Arachidonic Acid Dietary Advice" in the "How to change your diet - guide".

 

Figure 5 shows that among the first 2,322 individual samples analysed in our laboratories the majority have optimal AA formation efficiency. This conclusion is the same after evaluating 50,000 samples (per June 2014).  

 

Figure 5. Arachidoinic Acid formation efficiency should preferably be above 30.

 

A low AA level can result from impaired enzyme activity in the AA synthesis (Figure 1) or inadequate omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) consumption from a fat-free or severely fat-restricted diet. Low levels of AA may lead to more frequent infections or delayed wound healing [37, 38].

6. Saturated fat/Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) Balance

The ratio between saturated fatty acids and the marine omega-3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaoenic acid (EPA) and docosahexaoenic acid (DHA) is indicative of cell membrane fluidity. The more saturated the fats are in a membrane, the more rigid is the membrane. Conversely, the more polyunsaturated the fats are in a membrane, the more fluid is the membrane. This Index should be below 4:1. If it is above 4:1 (yellow or red value) you may benefit from changing your diet according to our  “How to change your diet guide”.

 

Figure 6 shows that the "Cell membrane fluidity index" of the first 2,322 individual samples analysed  in our laboratories, the majority have an imbalance and should improve their dietary habit. This conclusion is the same after evaluating 50,000 samples (per June 2014). 

Figure 6. Cell membrane fluidity index should preferably be below 4:1

 

Cell membrane composition and structural architecture is critical for the health of the cells and hence the body. On the one hand, the membrane needs to be rigid enough to provide sound cellular structural architecture. On the other hand, the membrane needs to be fluid enough to allow nutrients in and waste products out, as well as to permit the free floating of cellular receptors in its phospholipids bi-layer. Cellular receptors in the phospholipids bi-layer are binding places or “docking stations” for hormones and other bioactive nutrients that affect the life of the cells. An example is cholesterol particles transporting fatty acids and other fat components from the liver to the cells. The yellow protein on top of the kolesterol particle (Figure 7) is connecting to the receptor on the cell membrane surface to deliver fatty acids and other fat components to the cell. Ideally, the free floating cellular receptors should be moving around on the membrane surface “like rafting on a boat in a river”.

 

Figure 7. Free floating cellular receptors and a cholesterol particle that carries fatty acids and other fat components in the blood from the liver to all of the body’s cells.

 

7. Omega-6 (AA)/Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) Balance

The ratio between the omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) and the marine omega-3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaoenic acid (EPA) and docosahexaoenic acid (DHA) reflects mood related wellness. This Index should be below 1:1. If  above 1:1 (yellow or red value) you may benefit from changing your diet according to our  “How to change your diet guide”.

 

Figure 8 shows that the value of this "Mood related wellness index" among the first 2,322 individual samples analysed  in our laboratories, the majority have an imbalance and should improve their dietary habit. This conclusion is the same after evaluating 50,000 samples (per June 2014). 

 

Figure 8. Mood related Wellness Index should preferably be below 1:1

 

The figure below shows that reduction in this Index affects a number of factors linked to mood related wellness in a significant manner [39]. There is  ample evidence that imbalances  in fatty acids profile can induce depression [40, 41]. Marine omega-3 EPA and DHA may also act as mood stabilizers [42, 43].

Daily administration of 3 g of marine omega-3’s EPA and DHA for 3 months significantly decreased feelings of anger and anxiety among substance abusers compared with placebo group [44]. Several clinical studies show that cognitive performance improves with increased anti-inflammatory consumption of marine omega-3 EPA and DHA [45, 46, 47]. Childhood and old age are two critical and vulnerable stages in life when the supply of marine omega-3 (EPA and DHA) are fundamental for good brain functioning. In these periods, omega-3 deficiency is associated with learning and memory deficits as well as mood.
 
The possible mechanism may be that when neurons are stimulated with neurotransmitters both marine omega-3 EPA and DHA and omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) are released from membrane phospholipids and metabolized in the brain giving rise to a series of bioactive compounds such as prostaglandins, thromboxanes, leukotrienes, lipoxins, resolvins and protectins, including neuroprotectin D1 from free DHA. These bioactive local “hormones” can modulate and influence several pathways relating to neurotransmitters such as serotonin, noradrenalin that affect the rate of heart contractions, acetylcholine affecting sustained attention, and dopamine affecting reward-driven learning in the brain [48, 49, 50].