A full fatty acid profile, including trans fats gives a comprehensive picture of fatty acid metabolism and can be used as a bio marker that reflects a long term dietary intake. FA compositions of human blood have nutritional and health implications. There is a correlation between fatty acid metabolism and the epidemiology of some chronic diseases namely, progression of obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, autoimmune disease and so on.
Fatty acids (FAs) are key molecules in various physiological and pathological events. They are in several metabolic functions, such as energy storage, membrane structure, signal transduction cascades and protein acylation. Several studies shown correlation between fatty acid metabolism and the epidemiology of some chronic diseases namely, progression of obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, autoimmune disease and so on. Evaluation of fatty acids in biological samples has long been recognized as an important task and served as a tool for maintaining nutritional status. Fatty acids are broadly classified into saturated and unsaturated fatty acid. Among the unsaturated fatty acids, omega 3 [such as Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA 22:6n-3)] and omega 6 fatty acids [like Arachidonic acid (ARA, 20:4n-6)] play major role in human metabolism. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an important structural component of photoreceptor and cortical neuronal membranes and is required for optimal neural development and visual function. DHA and EPA together directly influence neuronal development, visual acuity and infant’s immune system. The Omega-3 Index (which is a sum of erythrocyte levels of EPA and DHA) has been implicated in behavior and mood. Several studies demonstrated that DHA with EPA has proved helpful in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, dyspraxia (motor skills disorder), dyslexia and aggression. Omega 3 index is an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease mortality. It has been well-established that supplementation of LCPUFA, especially DHA has positive effect on visual development in preterm infants. The most common omega -6 PUFA is arachidonic acid which serve as precursor for the production of eicosanoids, such as prostaglandins, leukotrienes and thromboxanes, platelet aggregation, inflammation, cell growth and cell proliferation. A recent Boston study reported, the percentage of total PUFA was lower in autistic patients than in controls (non–autistic and non-developmentally delayed). As a result, omega-3 and omega-6 (LC PUFA) influence normal growth, neurological and visual development as well as cognitive and immune function. Thus, an adequate status of LC PUFA is important in children.
Blood Spots on provided Guthrie Cards