Alpha-linolenic acid

  • 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.


  • High blood pressure: Eating a diet high in alpha-linolenic acid seems to reduce risk of hypertension by about a third.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid is popular for preventing and treating diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
  • It is used to prevent heart attacks, lower cholesterol, and reverse “hardening of the blood vessels” (atherosclerosis).
  • 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, skincancer, depression, and allergic and inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
  • Some people use alpha-linolenic acid to prevent cancer.


  • Prostate cancer: Do not take alpha-linolenic acid supplements if you have prostate cancer or are at high risk for getting prostate cancer (e.g., you have a father or brother with prostate cancer). There is some evidence that alpha-linolenic acid might increase the chance of getting prostate cancer.
  • High blood triglyceride levels (fats in the blood): Don’t take alpha-linolenic acid supplements if you have high triglycerides. It might make the condition worse.

Other Names

Acide Alpha-Linolénique, Ácido Alfa Linolénico, Acide Gras Essentiel, ALA, Acide Linolénique, Acide Gras N3, Acide Gras Oméga 3, Acide Gras Polyinsaturé Oméga 3, Acide Gras Polyinsaturé N3, Essential Fatty Acid, Linolenic Acid, LNA, N-3 Fatty Acid, N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid, Omega 3, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Omega-3, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid.


Source: WebMD, “Alpha-linolenic acid”,

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