Award-winning Omega-3 Index Project aims to test 30,000 Australians in next year

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The foundation will be set up under CMA.
The foundation will be set up under CMA.

Related tags Medicine

The Omega-3 Index Project plans to set up a foundation to provide low-cost or free omega-3 testing for 30,000 Australians in 2018.

The venture​, backed by a host of suppliers and manufacturers, has already tested 5,000 people.

Having insufficient omega-3 levels puts people at higher risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, sub-optimal brain function, and increased likelihood for major depression, among other health issues.

Aker BioMarine Australia general manager Ian Chant told us that work was well under way to secure seed funding for the new foundation.

"Once the seed funding is in the bank, the foundation will be set up under the direction of the industry association Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA).

"We will then seek additional funding from the industry to secure the tests, and provide them to healthcare practitioners so the tests can be administered in return for a small donation by the consumers, which will go to a charity. The objective of the foundation is to raise AUD$1m,”​ he said.

The finger-prick test, available through pharmacies and healthcare practitioners nationwide, received the Innovation Award in Complementary Medicine from CMA at its annual awards last week.

Touching a nerve

Speaking at the Sydney event, Chant unveiled Aker Biomarine’s new film by award-winning director Per-Olav Sørensen.

The film​ features a young woman, Maria, living an active life in a big city. 

Chant told us: "Her daily routines include hardcore exercise and a balanced diet. Seemingly, Maria’s lifestyle ticks all the right boxes and gets her five stars on the health chart.

"She gets a rude awakening as she goes back to her roots and visits her family in Greenland, only to discover the imbalanced life she has been living the last few years. Maria's daily habits are simply not enough to maintain a truly healthy and balanced life.

"With this raw scenic film, we want to touch a nerve and make people reflect on their own lives, and find the motivation to improve life balance."

A recent study published in Nutrients​, compared data from the US and Germany and concluded that despite adequate knowledge of the health benefits and food sources of omega-3, the omega-3 levels of 98% of the participants fell below the optimal range.

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