Alpha-linolenic acid is thought to decrease the risk of heart disease by helping to maintain normal heart rhythm and pumping. It might also reduce blood clots. Common dietary sources include vegetable oils such as flaxseed and canola oil, as well as red meat and dairy products.
Alpha-linolenic acid is most commonly used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels, such as hardening of the arteries, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It is also used for other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
You have probably heard a lot about other omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, which are found in fish oil. Alpha-linolenic acid may not have the same benefits as EPA or DHA. Be careful not to confuse alpha-linolenic acid with these other omega-3 fatty acids.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Ineffective for
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Alpha-linolenic acid is likely safe in amounts found in food. But not enough is known about the safety of alpha-linolenic acid during pregnancy and breast-feeding when used in higher amounts than those typically found in foods. Stay on the safe side and avoid alpha-linolenic acid supplements.
Kidney transplant: Consuming large amounts of alpha-linolenic acid might increase the risk for death after a kidney transplant. Until more is known, avoid alpha-linolenic acid supplements.
Prostate cancer. Alpha-linolenic acid might increase the chance of getting prostate cancer. Until more is known, do not take alpha-linolenic acid supplements if you already have prostate cancer or are at high risk for getting prostate cancer.
We currently have no information for ALPHA-LINOLENIC ACID (ALA) overview.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.