Views:8 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2016-04-02 Origin:Site
Alpha-linolenic acid is an essential omega-3 fatty acid. It is called “essential”, because it is needed for normal human growth and development. Nuts, such as walnuts, are good sources of alpha-linolenic acid. It is also found in vegetable oils such as flaxseed (linseed) oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, and soybean oil, as well as in red meat and dairy products.
Alpha-linolenic acid is popular for preventing and treating diseases of the heart and blood vessels. It is used to prevent heart attacks, lower high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reverse “hardening of the blood vessels” (atherosclerosis). There is some evidence that alpha-linolenic acid from dietary sources might be effective for all these uses except lowering cholesterol. Not enough is known yet to be able to rate alpha-linolenic acid’s effect on high cholesterol.
Alpha-linolenic acid is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, diabetes, renal disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
Other uses include treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), migraine headache, skin cancer, depression, and allergic and inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Some people use alpha-linolenic acid to prevent cancer. Ironically, alpha-linolenic acid may actually raise some men’s risk of getting prostate cancer.
You have probably heard a lot about other omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, which are found in fish oil. Be careful. Not all omega-3 fatty acids act the same way in the body. Alpha-linolenic acid may not have the same benefits as EPA and DHA.