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Stirling offers Omega 3 blood testing at World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh

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The University of Stirling, which has pioneered the development of rapid blood analysis for Omega 3 testing in the UK, will be offering a limited number of free Omega 3 tests to visitors to their stand at the World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh from 8 to 11 May.

Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture is the largest aquaculture research centre in the UK and one of the oldest in the world. The Institute conducts research and development of aquaculture activity throughout the world, including the benefits to humans of eating fish products.

Professor Gordon Bell of the Institute says: “Fish are a complete nutrient package: we grow fish and it’s important to demonstrate the positive impact on human health of eating fish.

“Omega 3 has widely acknowledged benefits for people with cardiovascular disease and diseases with an inflammatory origin i.e. rheumatoid arthritis. Omega 3 may also help those with neural disorders including autism and ADHD.

“The highest levels of Omega 3 are in fish. Most people have about 25% Omega 3 in their blood but more than 50% is the ideal level. Prior to 2006, there was no laboratory in the UK to carry out rapid testing of blood spot samples for Omega 3 – all blood for testing was taken directly from the vein in a procedure which had to be carried out by medical practitioners.

“With financial help from Glasgow Health Solutions Ltd- a clinic, laboratory and supplement company - the Institute developed the Omega Blood Count™ test in Stirling and now receives spot blood samples for testing from the UK, USA and around the globe.”

The Institute’s James Dick, who developed the technology, says: “The advantage of the blood spot method, compared with collecting venous blood from a vein, is its non-invasive nature. The speed and simplicity of collection is important when vulnerable patients are being studied, in particular young children, patients with neurological problems and the elderly.”

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