Omega-3 index associated with red blood cell distribution and immunity, studies show


Two recently published studies linked the omega-3 index to immune system balance and cell membrane integrity in healthy people.

Both studies were published in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA). The first study showed a correlation between healthy red blood cell (RBC) distribution and the omega-3 index (O3I), a blood test that measures the amount of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The second study found an inverse correlation between the O3I and the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in healthy adults.

The first study set out to discover the relationship between O3I and RBC distribution width (RDW). Low O31s and high RDWs are both associated with higher mortality risks, according to the study. The investigation observed 25,485 mixed-sex healthy adults with no history of inflammation or anemia from a clinical laboratory dataset. Researchers found an inverse relationship between O3I and RDW in both male and female participants. Study results suggested that an O3I greater than 5.6 percent may help maintain normal RBC structure and function.

The second investigation explored the relationship between O3I and the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), which serves as a biomarker for systemic inflammation and measures innate adaptive immunity, according to the study. There were 28,871 healthy adult participants with no record of inflammation involved in the study. Researchers found that NLR was inversely associated with O31. They found, within their participants, O3Is less than 6.6 percent were linked to increased NLR, while NLR remained low when O3Is were greater than 6.6 percent.

Together these studies indicate that there’s a connection between a low O3I and a balanced immune system as well as healthy RBC distribution, demonstrating the importance of omega-3 fatty acids.