This article focuses on the role of omega-3 fatty acids as precursors for lipid signaling molecules known as oxylipins. Although omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in autoimmune disorders, inflammatory diseases and heart disease, they are generally underrepresented in the American diet. A literature review confirms that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids - whether in food sources such as walnuts, flax seeds and fatty fish (including salmon and sardines), or in supplements - is associated with decreased morbidity and mortality. This growing body of evidence, including the results of a recent study of patients with kidney disease, highlights the need to measure omega-3 fatty acids and their oxylipin products as markers of metabolic health and biomarkers of disease. In addition, there is substantial evidence of the need to increase the omega-3 fatty acid content of American diets to optimize metabolic health.