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GEN News Highlights : May 25, 2011

Health Diagnostic Laboratory Purchases Harris Scientific for Omega-3 Fatty Acid Testing

Aim is to develop a panel for the measurement of more than 25 fatty acids.

Health Diagnostic Laboratory, a CAP-accredited leader in health management, is acquiring Harris Scientific, a company providing omega-3 fatty acid testing. The deal will expand Health Diagnostic Lab’s menu of risk factors and biomarkers for cardiovascular and related diseases.

Specifically, the takeover will enable Health Diagnostics Lab to expand its fatty acid testing services. The aim is to develop a panel that measures levels of more than 25 individual fatty acids organized into five groups—omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, cis-monounsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, and trans fatty acids. The firm’s fatty acid profile will also provide two fatty acid ratios—omega-6:omega-3 and arachidonic:EPA ratios.

"We've become conditioned to think of fat as bad," says William Harris, Ph.D., whose research formed the basis of Harris Scientific’s omega-3 testing. "Omega-3 fats—technically fatty acids—however, are essential to the human body and have benefits for our heart, brain, eyes, and joints." By reducing inflammation, blood clotting, and improving membrane function, omega-3's can reduce risk of heart disease including fatal heart attacks and heart failure both in people with a history of cardiovascular disease and in healthy individuals, according to Dr. Harris, who will join Health Diagnostic Laboratory.