If you are confused about the conflicting opinions and myths about dietary fat, you are not alone. One thing is clear: the type and amount of dietary fat you eat can affect your health. Fatty acid profiling reveals where different food consumption is needed to allow your body to function well.

Fatty acids are the fats we obtain from our diet. They may be monosaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated. Fatty acids are found in oils and other fats that make up different foods. Fat is necessary for cell membranes, nerve coverings, hormone production, vitamin absorption, and more. Most of us get a lot of fat in our diet, but usually is not the type of fat we should be getting.

You should consume more “good” fats from fish, flaxseed, olive, vegetable, and nut oils ( omega – 3, 6, and 9 respectively) and less saturated oils and trans fats ( or hydrogenated oils, or “bad” fats) contained in processed foods. The families of healthy fats called omega- 3, omega- 6, and omega- 9 protect against heart disease and help skin and joints stay young and supple. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils often contained in shortening, margarine, and many baked goods, as well as excess saturated fats from animal products, can cause problems on a cellular level and increase heart disease risk.

Research is revealing the long-term health benefits of consumption of fish oils and/or GLA rich oils on cardiovascular disease, children’s health and development, female health and reproduction, immune health, joint and tissue formation, lifestyle and healthy living, and mental/neurological health.

The Fatty Acid Profile shows the balance of fats in the capillary blood. Your overall balance of omega- 3 and omega- 6 fat is represented by fatty acid ratios. Balance fatty acid profiles are necessary for optimal health. Fatty acid profiles are also ideal way to track progress or response to a treatment, show varying patterns identifying essential fatty acid excess or deficiency signs, signs of insulin resistance, elevated level of triglycerides ( fatty acid compounds), pro-inflammation or omega- 3 dominance.

The number of diseases whose clinical course can be affected by fatty acid therapy is enormous. These include inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, hormonal disorders, autoimmune disorders, arthritides, senile neurological degeneration, mental and behavioral disorders such as depression and ADHD, hair and skin related conditions, such as dermatitis, alopecia, brittle nails, coarse, dry hair, and frequent infections. The blood spot testing allows for a convenient, cost-effective analysis in the doctor’s office or at the patient’s home.

Signs and symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency are small bumps on the back of the upper arms, thick or cracked calluses, dandruff, dry, dull, brittle hair, brittle fingernails, dry eyes, dry mouth/throat, inadequate vaginal lubrication, depression, menstrual cramps, premenstrual breast pain/tenderness, excessive ear wax, allergies, crave fats, fatty foods, stiff or painful joints, dry skin/discoloration.

Kelly Miller, DC NMD FASA FBAARM CFDMP*, is a physician for Hoffman Clinic for Optimal Health.

This service is provided through Hoffman Clinic for Optimal Health.To see if the Fatty Acid Bloodspot Profile can benefit you, call or office for an appointment at 813-985-1322.

*There is currently no licensure for Naturopathic physicians (NMD) in the state of Florida and the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine does not currently recognize the credentialing of the Fellowship from the Brazil-American Academy for Aging and Regenerative Medicine (FBAARM), or the Certification in Functional Diagnostic Medicine (CFDMP) from Functional Medicine University.