What is the AA/EPA Ratio?

This test measures the ratio of arachidonic acid (AA) to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in plasma. This ratio of the principle omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is a measure of the
body’s eicosanoid balance. Balancing these eicosanoids in the body is an excellent way
for managing heart disease and other chronic and inflammatory processes.
1.5 to 3 Low Excellent
3 to 6 Moderate Good
7 to 15 Elevated Moderate
> than 15 High Poor
Even though cellular or chronic inflammation is silent (absent of pain signals), it can be measured with a number of medical tests.

The AA/EPA Ratio is one of the most common tests for cellular inflammation.

The two other common tests are:

  • hs-C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)
  • Nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kB)
High levels:

The higher the AA/EPA ratio, the higher are the levels of cellular inflammation.

An AA/EPA ratio of 1.5 is considered to be ideal, since this is the ratio found in the Japanese population having the greatest longevity and the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease.

A lower AA/EPA ratio indicates a better balance of “good” and “bad” eicosanoids in your body. The average AA/EPA of Americans is approximately 11, and for patients with inflammatory conditions and neurological disorders, the AA/EPA ratio will be in excess of 20.

How to reduce and improve the AA/EPA ratio through dietary methods:
The fastest way to reduce the AA/EPA ratio is to increase the intake of high-purity omega-3 fatty acid concentrates and to reduce the consumption of arachidonic acid (AA) and omega-6 fatty acids (LA).

Increase omega-3 rich food sources:
– Seaweed, nori, spirulina, and chlorella
– Chia seeds
– Hemp seeds
– Flax seeds
– Walnuts
– Edamame
– Kidney beans

EPA is anti-inflammatory and should balance the levels of pro-inflammatory arachidonic
acid. Although EPA can be produced from the essential fatty acid, ALA, dietary intakes
of this fatty acid are generally poor. The conversion also requires the action of the delta-6 desaturase enzyme that may be low due to inadequate Zn, Mg, or vitamins B3, B6,
and C. Such an enzyme impairment would be indicated if EPA is low and ALA is normal
or high. High levels of saturated, monounsaturated, trans fatty acids, and cholesterol
also slow the conversion of ALA to EPA.

Decrease AA omega-6 rich food sources:
– Chicken
– Eggs
– Beef
– Sausage, franks, bacon, and ribs
– Fish
– Burgers
– Cold cuts
– Pork



The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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