Table 1

Cut-off Values for the Fatty Acid Ratios which place the Levels of Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids, DHA, and EPA+DHA in the 'Lower Risk' Categories with 95% Confidence Level

Cut-offs for Fatty Acid Ratios


Fatty Acid Levels * (Lower Risk Category)

Omega-6:Omega-3

AA:EPA

AA:DHA

AA:(EPA+DHA)


Total Omega-3 (≥7.2)

<4.5

<5.0

<1.8

<1.4

DHA (≥4.5)

<3.0

<1.1

<1.5

<0.45

EPA+DHA (≥4.6)

<5.8

<9.2

<2.5

<2.1


* The 'lower risk' categories for total omega-3, DHA, and EPA+DHA levels (as % of total fatty acids in serum phospholipid) are for coronary heart disease in the case of total omega-3 and DHA [3,4] and for fatal ischemic heart disease in the case of EPA+DHA [4,5].

Holub et al. Nutrition Journal 2009 8:58   doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-58

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