Alpha-Linolenic Acid

Alpha-linolenic acid is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. It 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. Alpha-linolenic acid is found in flaxseed oil, and in  canola, soy, perilla, and walnut oils.

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 be also 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. Researchers have thought that the same may be true for alpha-linolenic  acid. There is evidence that may be so, although it’s not as strong as it is for  fish oil.

Resources

“Alpha-linolenic Acid.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2013.

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