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What Is alpha-Linolenic Acid, ALA?

alpha-Linolenic acid, ALA, 18:3 n-3, is an essential, polyunsaturated and an omega-3 fatty acid. Itโ€™s also called cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid.

ALA is needed for tissues and cells and is found in many plant oils.

alpha-Linolenic Acid Is Essential

alpha-linolenic acid, 18:3, ALA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Itโ€™s a member of the group of essential fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acids. (source ๐Ÿ——)

ALA is an essential fatty acid. It is required in the diet for good health but cannot be synthesized in our body. We must obtain it from food. (source ๐Ÿ——)

ALA conversion

Essential fatty acids go through many conversions. ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA, and these are then gradually absorbed into cell membranes. (source ๐Ÿ——)

Research has shown that a problem with the conversion is that the human body generally uses ALA for energy, and therefore is the conversion into EPA and DHA is very limited. It means that we miss out on the health benefits it can provide.

alpha-linolenic acid, ALA, but also EPA, and DHA are the most represented omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in human tissues and cells. (source ๐Ÿ——)

Fortified foods

The growth of omega-3-fortified foods has grown in recent years. Foods like eggs, milk, soy milk, margarine, bread, pasta, juice, peanut butter, and chocolate can be fortified with omega-3 fatty acid.

In most cases, the form of omega-3 contained in these foods is alfa-linolenic acid, ALA. (source ๐Ÿ——)

List Of ALA Containing Foods

If you are interested in a list of foods where you can find this nutrient. Go to our nutrition tool and check out alpha-linolenic acid .

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Sara Niemelรค

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Iโ€™m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family. Nutrition is my passion. I have spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies. Nutrition is the foundation you build a healthy and fulfilling life upon!