Overview of Alpha-linolenic acid
Date:2020-10-26Category:Alpha Linolenic AcidView:645Comments:0
Alpha-linolenic acid is a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. It is found in flaxseed oil, and in canola, soy, perilla, and walnut oils.
Alpha-linolenic acid is similar to the omega-3 fatty acids that are in fish oil, called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your body can change alpha-linolenic acid into EPA and DHA. However, some researchers suggest that less than 1% of ALA is converted to physiologically effective levels of EPA and DHA.
Omega-3 fatty acids -- especially EPA and DHA -- have been shown to reduce inflammation and may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis. They may also be important for brain health and development, as well as normal growth and development.
There is good evidence that fish oil containing EPA and DHA may help treat heart disease, prevent heart attack and stroke, and slightly reduce high blood pressure. Some researchers think the same may be true for alpha-linolenic acid. There is evidence that this may be so, but the evidence is not as strong as it is for fish oil.
Note: Alpha-linolenic acid is not the same as alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that helps the body turn glucose into energy. This can be confusing because both alpha-linolenic acid and alpha-lipoic acid are sometimes abbreviated as ALA.
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