Essential fatty acids (PUFAs)

Description / Indication

Nutritional studies.




4 weeks.


€ 195 (each test)

EDTA whole blood is the preferred material. Our standard protocol is to analyze both plasma and erythrocytes. Erythrocytes give an impression of the (essential) fatty acid status for a longer period of time whereas plasma levels are representative of the current situation/diet (similar to the relation between HbA1c and glucose). If possible, please do not collect blood postprandially but collect at least 2 hours after a meal or after an overnight fast. For the fatty acids included in the analysis see table below.


Erythrocytes (isolated from EDTA whole blood)

  • Amount: 1 ml of whole blood.
  • Conditions: room temperature.
  • Specifics: Sample must arrive at our lab within 24 hours.


  • Amount: 500 µl.
  • Conditions: Dry ice.
  • Specifics: EDTA plasma (preferred material), heparin plasma also suitable. We preferably measure in both erythrocytes and plasma to evaluate long-term essential fatty acid status (erythrocytes) and current dietary effects (plasma). Plasma analysis alone is possible but less informative with regard to the (essential) fatty acid status.

Fatty acids included in the analysis:

Fatty acid Abreviation Type
C14:0 Myristic acid - -
C16:0 Palmitic acid - -
C18:0 Stearic acid - -
C20:0 Arachidic acid - -
C22:0 Behenic acid - -
C18:3ω3 Linolenic acid ALA ω-3 / n-3
C18:4ω3 Octadecatetraenoic acid - ω-3 / n-3
C20:5ω3 Eicosapentaenoic acid EPA ω-3 / n-3
C22:5ω3 Docosapentaenoic acid DPA ω-3 / n-3
C22:6ω3 Docosahexaenoic acid DHA ω-3 / n-3
C14:1ω5 Myristoleic acid - ω-5 / n-5
C18:2ω6 Linoleic acid LA ω-6 / n-6
C18:3ω6 Gamma-Linolenic acid GLA ω-6 / n-6
C20:2ω6 Eicosadienoic acid - ω-6 / n-6
C20:3ω6 Homogamma-Linolenic acid - ω-6 / n-6
C20:4ω6 Arachidonic acid AA ω-6 / n-6
C22:2ω6 Docosadienoic acid - ω-6 / n-6
C22:4ω6 Docosatetraenoic acid - ω-6 / n-6
C22:5ω6 Docosapentaenoic acid - ω-6 / n-6
C16:1ω7 Palmitoleic acid - ω-7 / n-7
C18:1ω7 Vaccenic acid - ω-7 / n-7
C20:1ω7 13-Eicosenoic acid - ω-7 / n-7
C16:1ω9 Hypogeic acid - ω-9 / n-9
C18:1ω9 Oleic acid - ω-9 / n-9
C20:1ω9 Gondoic acid - ω-9 / n-9
C20:3ω9 Eicosatrienoic acid - ω-9 / n-9
C22:1ω9 Erucic acid - ω-9 / n-9