All humans have levels of EPA+DHA that if methodologically correctly assessed in erythrocytes, are optimal more than 8%. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are permanent subjects of interest not only in relation to the protection of cardiovascular health and the prevention of the incidence of both ventricular and atrial arrhythmias, but also many serious health issues that can be prevented by optimal levels.
In this retrospective study, the records of 1349 patients who presented with various complaints in the period from 2013 to 2017 aged 1 to 91 were examined. Fatty acids within the red blood cell membranes were analyzed as methyl ethers after trans-esterification with sodium methylate using GC-MS followed by omega-3 index calculation.
Deficiency of omega-3 PUFAs was found in 68.5% of patients. The most severe deficiency was noted in children and adolescents aged 0 to 17 years (in girls to a greater extent). In age groups of 18–44 and 45–59 years, the prevalence of severe (<4%) and moderate (4–8%) deficiency was comparable in males and females: among 18–44-year-old men severe deficiency was noted in 5.6%, moderate – in 29.4%, at the age of 45–59 years – in 7 and 23%, respectively; among women – 6.4, 24.4, 8.4 and 20%, respectively. In the age group of 60-74 years, prevalence of severe deficiency was significantly higher in men, who had severe deficiency in 9.2% of cases, whereas in women of the same age it was found only in 4.8% of cases, the prevalence of moderate deficiency is 23 and 23.8%, respectively.
Such high prevalence of severe omega-3 PUFA deficiency in girls under 17 is likely due to girls’ and their parents’ concerns about weight, diet and veganism, and requires the inclusion of omega-3 index analysis in adolescent girls’ screening. Thus, during the most important period – the period of puberty – 25% of girls have metabolic and hypoxic disorders due to deficiency of omega-3 PUFA and are at risk of not only diseases associated with metabolic disorders, but also reproductive disorders (infertility, miscarriage, fetal malformations). The obtained data is indicative of the necessity to choose dosages of omega-3 PUFAs, considering not only the patients age, but also their gender.