Alpha-Linolenic

 

Alpha-linolenicAlpha-linolenic acid is an essential omega-3 (N-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid, needed for normal growth and development. acid is an essential omega-3 (N-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid, needed for normal growth and development. Seed oils are the richest sources of Alpha-linolenic acid, most notably those of rapeseed (canola), soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed (linseed oil), perilla, chia, and hemp. Alpha-linolenic acid  can also obtained from the thylakoid membranes in pea leaves and is present red meat and dairy products.

 

Alpha-linolenic acid is similar to the omega-3 fatty acids that are in fish oil, called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (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 be also important for brain health and development, as well as normal growth and development.

 

Researchers believe that Alpha-linolenic acid may have similar beneficial qualities, although not to the same extent as omega-3's from fish oil.

 

NOTE: Alpha-linolenic acid is not the same as alpha-lipoic acidAlso known as the “universal antioxidant,” Alpha lipoic acid has many important functions, including providing the body with defense against free radical damage and helps to convert glucose (blood sugar) into energy. , an antioxidant that helps the body turn glucose into energy. It can be confusing because both alpha-linolenic acid and alpha-lipoic acid are both sometimes abbreviated as ALA.