The red blood cell fatty acid analysis is done from a blood sample. Fats have many essential roles in the body. Some fatty acids (building blocks of fats) are essential. This means that, like vitamins and minerals, the body cannot manufacture them. They must be obtained from the diet. Within the body, fats regulate temperature, cushion organs, aid vitamin absorption, help conduct nerve impulses, serve as precursors to hormone-like compounds, and as components of cell membranes, they play a role in intercellular communication. Some of the health conditions in which fatty acid analysis can be of benefit include Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, skin conditions, depression, immune and neurological disorders. Fatty acid analysis can also be performed on pregnant and nursing women, as fatty acid imbalances may impair nervous system and retinal development of the fetus and infant, possibly predisposing to impaired visual and cognitive function including Attention Deficit Disorder and even degenerative neurologic disorders in adulthood.