When researchers measured the level of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA within red blood cells, they discovered one of the most significant predictors of heart disease. This laboratory value was termed the Omega-3 Index. An Omega-3 Index of =8% was associated with the greatest protection, whereas an index of =4% was associated with the least. The Omega-3 Index was shown to be the most significant predictor of coronary artery disease compared to C-reactive protein; total, LDL, or HDL cholesterol; and homocysteine. Researchers subsequently determined that a total of a combined 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily is required to achieve or surpass the =8% Omega-3 Index target.