alpha linolenic acid


Summary: A fatty acid that is found in plants and involved in the formation of prostaglandins.

Top Publications

  1. Goyens P, Spilker M, Zock P, Katan M, Mensink R. Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid in humans is influenced by the absolute amounts of alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid in the diet and not by their ratio. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84:44-53 pubmed
    ..7 to 1.9 mg (P = 0.001) in the high-ALA group. ALA oxidation was unchanged by the dietary interventions. The amounts of ALA and LA in the diet, but not their ratio, determine ALA conversion. ..
  2. Levant B, Ozias M, Davis P, Winter M, Russell K, Carlson S, et al. Decreased brain docosahexaenoic acid content produces neurobiological effects associated with depression: Interactions with reproductive status in female rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008;33:1279-92 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, the data are consistent with findings in depressed humans, and thus support a role for DHA as a factor in the etiologies of depressive illnesses, particularly postpartum depression. ..
  3. Levant B, Ozias M, Carlson S. Diet (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid content and parity interact to alter maternal rat brain phospholipid fatty acid composition. J Nutr. 2006;136:2236-42 pubmed
  4. Sanders T. DHA status of vegetarians. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2009;81:137-41 pubmed publisher
    ..Preformed DHA in the diet of omnivores explains the relatively higher proportion of this fatty acid in blood and tissue lipids compared with vegetarians. The pathophysiological significance of this difference remains to be determined. ..
  5. Rao S, Kale A, Joshi S, Mahadik S. Sensitivity of fetus and pups to excess levels of maternal intakes of alpha linolenic acid at marginal protein levels in Wistar rats. Reprod Toxicol. 2007;24:333-42 pubmed
    ..Present study examined whether alpha linolenic acid, primary vegetarian dietary omega 3 fatty acid source and precursor to cellular membrane phospholipid ..
  6. Wendland E, Farmer A, Glasziou P, Neil A. Effect of alpha linolenic acid on cardiovascular risk markers: a systematic review. Heart. 2006;92:166-9 pubmed
    To determine whether dietary supplementation with alpha linolenic acid (ALA) can modify established and emerging cardiovascular risk markers...
  7. Levant B, Ozias M, Jones K, Carlson S. Differential effects of modulation of docosahexaenoic acid content during development in specific regions of rat brain. Lipids. 2006;41:407-14 pubmed
    ..These differential effects may contribute to the specific neurochemical and behavioral effects observed in animals with variation in brain DHA content. ..
  8. Burdge G. Metabolism of alpha-linolenic acid in humans. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2006;75:161-8 pubmed
    ..These gender differences may be an important consideration in making dietary recommendations for n-3 PUFA intake. ..
  9. Zhao G, Etherton T, Martin K, Vanden Heuvel J, Gillies P, West S, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids in THP-1 cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005;336:909-17 pubmed
    ..The results indicate that the anti-inflammatory effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids may be, in part, due to the inhibition of NF-kappaB activation via activation of PPARgamma. ..

Scientific Experts

More Information


  1. Yavin E, Himovichi E, Eilam R. Delayed cell migration in the developing rat brain following maternal omega 3 alpha linolenic acid dietary deficiency. Neuroscience. 2009;162:1011-22 pubmed publisher
    ..levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), the major polyunsaturated fatty acid (FA) synthesized from alpha linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3), have been implicated in changes in neurotransmitter production, ion channel disruption and ..
  2. Marangoni F, Colombo C, Martiello A, Poli A, Paoletti R, Galli C. Levels of the n-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid in addition to those of alpha linolenic acid are significantly raised in blood lipids by the intake of four walnuts a day in humans. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2007;17:457-61 pubmed
    Ingestion of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), with the richest source among dry fruits such as walnuts, is associated with cardiovascular prevention...
  3. Zhou D, Ghebremeskel K, Crawford M, Reifen R. Vitamin A deficiency enhances docosahexaenoic and osbond acids in liver of rats fed an alpha linolenic acid-adequate diet. Lipids. 2006;41:213-9 pubmed
    ..Hence, there is a need for a further study to unravel the mechanism by which vitamin A influences membrane DHA and OA. ..
  4. Vijaimohan K, Jainu M, Sabitha K, Subramaniyam S, Anandhan C, Shyamala Devi C. Beneficial effects of alpha linolenic acid rich flaxseed oil on growth performance and hepatic cholesterol metabolism in high fat diet fed rats. Life Sci. 2006;79:448-54 pubmed
    ..The results of the present study demonstrate that FO may be developed as a useful therapy for hyperlipidemia through reducing hepatic lipids, thereby proving its hypolipidemic activity. ..
  5. Mayes C, Burdge G, Bingham A, Murphy J, Tubman R, Wootton S. Variation in [U-13C] alpha linolenic acid absorption, beta-oxidation and conversion to docosahexaenoic acid in the pre-term infant fed a DHA-enriched formula. Pediatr Res. 2006;59:271-5 pubmed
    ..The most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in pre-term formulas is alpha linolenic acid (ALNA), the precursor of DHA...
  6. Bloedon L, Szapary P. Flaxseed and cardiovascular risk. Nutr Rev. 2004;62:18-27 pubmed
    ..Data on the antiplatelet, antioxidant, and hypotensive effects of flaxseed, however, are inconclusive. More research is needed to define the role of this functional food in reducing cardiovascular risk. ..
  7. Vecchini A, Ceccarelli V, Susta F, Caligiana P, Orvietani P, Binaglia L, et al. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid reduces COX-2 expression and induces apoptosis of hepatoma cells. J Lipid Res. 2004;45:308-16 pubmed
    ..Conversely, it was observed that apoptosis induced by the alpha-linolenic acid-enriched diet correlated with a decrease in arachidonate content in hepatoma cells and decreased cyclooxygenase-2 expression. ..
  8. Goyens P, Spilker M, Zock P, Katan M, Mensink R. Compartmental modeling to quantify alpha-linolenic acid conversion after longer term intake of multiple tracer boluses. J Lipid Res. 2005;46:1474-83 pubmed
    ..The limited incorporation of dietary ALA into the hepatic phospholipid pool contributes to the low hepatic conversion of ALA into EPA. A low conversion of ALA-derived EPA into DPA might be an additional obstacle for DHA synthesis. ..
  9. Zhao G, Etherton T, Martin K, West S, Gillies P, Kris Etherton P. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory and lipid cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men and women. J Nutr. 2004;134:2991-7 pubmed
    ..05); the ALA Diet decreased HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein AI compared with the AAD (P < 0.05). ALA appears to decrease CVD risk by inhibiting vascular inflammation and endothelial activation beyond its lipid-lowering effects. ..
  10. Bakshi A, Mukherjee D, Bakshi A, Banerji A, Das U. Gamma-linolenic acid therapy of human gliomas. Nutrition. 2003;19:305-9 pubmed
    ..Based on results of the present and previous studies, we believe that GLA is a safe antitumor agent and that higher doses of GLA should be investigated in future studies. ..
  11. Burdge G. Alpha-linolenic acid metabolism in men and women: nutritional and biological implications. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004;7:137-44 pubmed
    ..Capacity to upregulate alpha-linolenic acid transformation in women may be important for meeting the demands of the fetus and neonate for docosahexaenoic acid. ..
  12. Hussein N, Ah Sing E, Wilkinson P, Leach C, Griffin B, Millward D. Long-chain conversion of [13C]linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in response to marked changes in their dietary intake in men. J Lipid Res. 2005;46:269-80 pubmed
    ..AA, 0.2%; EPA, 0.3%; and DPA, 0.02%) and varied directly with precursor concentrations and inversely with concentrations of fatty acids of the alternative series. [13C]DHA formation was very low (<0.01%) with no dietary influences. ..
  13. Agostoni C, Giovannini M, Sala D, Usuelli M, Livio L, Francescato G, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing effects of supplementation of two micronutrient sprinkles on fatty acid status in Cambodian infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007;44:136-42 pubmed
    ..The iron/folate-treated infants showed no differences compared with the other 2 groups. Studies are needed to differentiate the potential effects of the supplemented micronutrients on the FA status. ..
  14. Taha A, Ryan M, Cunnane S. Markedly raised intake of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids in rats on a high-fat ketogenic diet does not inhibit carbon recycling of 13C-alpha-linolenate. Lipids. 2006;41:933-5 pubmed
    ..05). We conclude that carbon recycling into saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids persists when the main end products of ALA recycling are provided in excess, using a ketogenic diet. ..
  15. Zatonski W, Campos H, Willett W. Rapid declines in coronary heart disease mortality in Eastern Europe are associated with increased consumption of oils rich in alpha-linolenic acid. Eur J Epidemiol. 2008;23:3-10 pubmed
    ..These results were consistent in men and women. We hypothesize that the decline in CHD mortality observed in Eastern Europe can be attributed, in part, to changes in ALA consumption. ..
  16. Pazirandeh S, Ling P, Ollero M, Gordon F, Burns D, Bistrian B. Supplementation of arachidonic acid plus docosahexaenoic acid in cirrhotic patients awaiting liver transplantation: a preliminary study. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2007;31:511-6 pubmed
    ..Whether this maneuver will affect the systemic inflammatory responsiveness and ultimately clinical outcome will require a large-scale and well-controlled intervention. ..
  17. Oberthür C, Jaggi R, Hamburger M. HPLC based activity profiling for 5-lipoxygenase inhibitory activity in Isatis tinctoria leaf extracts. Fitoterapia. 2005;76:324-32 pubmed
    ..The activity in the lipophilic fractions of the Isatis extract could be linked to an unsaturated fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. ..
  18. Ambrose D, Kastelic J, Corbett R, Pitney P, Petit H, Small J, et al. Lower pregnancy losses in lactating dairy cows fed a diet enriched in alpha-linolenic acid. J Dairy Sci. 2006;89:3066-74 pubmed
    ..6 vs. 47.5%). Pregnancy losses were lower in cows fed FLAX (9.8%) compared with those fed SUNF (27.3%). Including flaxseed in the ration of dairy cows increased the size of the ovulatory follicle and reduced pregnancy losses. ..
  19. Wang Y, Liang Y, Chen B, He Y, Li B, Hu Q. LC-DAD-APCI-MS-based screening and analysis of the absorption and metabolite components in plasma from a rabbit administered an oral solution of danggui. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2005;383:247-54 pubmed
    ..The results prove that the proposed method can be used to rapidly analyze multiple constituents in TCMs, and to screen for bioactive compounds by comparing and contrasting the chromatographic fingerprints of DOS and plasma samples...
  20. Bretillon L, Loreau O, Sebedio J, Taran F. In vivo oxidation of [9-14C] cyclic fatty acids derived from linolenic acid in the rat. Reprod Nutr Dev. 2006;46:189-93 pubmed
  21. Gómez Cortés P, Tyburczy C, Brenna J, Juárez M, de la Fuente M. Characterization of cis-9 trans-11 trans-15 C18:3 in milk fat by GC and covalent adduct chemical ionization tandem MS. J Lipid Res. 2009;50:2412-20 pubmed publisher
    ..This new C18:3 isomer could be formed by isomerization of cis-15 bond of RLnA and subsequently converted by hydrogenation to trans-11 trans-15 C18:2, an octadecadienoic acid also detected in this study. ..
  22. Yehuda S, Rabinovitz S, Mostofsky D. Mixture of essential fatty acids lowers test anxiety. Nutr Neurosci. 2005;8:265-7 pubmed
    ..e. appetite, mood, mental concentration, fatigue, academic organization and poor sleep, as well as lowering elevated cortisol level, with a corresponding reduction of anxiety. ..
  23. Nelson T, Stevens J, Hickey M. Inflammatory markers are not altered by an eight week dietary alpha-linolenic acid intervention in healthy abdominally obese adult males and females. Cytokine. 2007;38:101-6 pubmed
    ..This study suggests there are no beneficial effects of an 8-week ALA intervention on these inflammatory factors among young, healthy, overweight/obese subjects whose inflammatory factors are not significantly elevated. ..
  24. Christensen J, Fabrin K, Borup K, Barber N, Poulsen J. Prostate tissue and leukocyte levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in men with benign prostate hyperplasia or prostate cancer. BJU Int. 2006;97:270-3 pubmed
    ..This study therefore does not support the hypothesis that intake of marine n-3 PUFAs might protect against prostate cancer, but lends support to the deleterious role of ALA in the development of prostate cancer. ..
  25. Dhar P, Chattopadhyay K, Bhattacharyya D, Roychoudhury A, Biswas A, Ghosh S. Antioxidative effect of conjugated linolenic acid in diabetic and non-diabetic blood: an in vitro study. J Oleo Sci. 2006;56:19-24 pubmed
  26. Meguid N, Atta H, Gouda A, Khalil R. Role of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the management of Egyptian children with autism. Clin Biochem. 2008;41:1044-8 pubmed publisher
    ..PUFA supplementation may play an important role in ameliorating the autistic behavior. ..
  27. Piccione G, Assenza A, Borruso M, Fazio F, Caola G. Daily pattern of some fatty acids in the athletic horse. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2009;93:7-14 pubmed publisher
    ..The results obtained showed a different trend of the circadian pattern of the studied parameters in the athletic horse than in the sedentary one because the physical activity and the post-prandial metabolism acted as zeitgebers. ..
  28. Joffe Y, van der Merwe L, Carstens M, Collins M, Jennings C, Levitt N, et al. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha gene -308 G/A polymorphism modulates the relationship between dietary fat intake, serum lipids, and obesity risk in black South African women. J Nutr. 2010;140:901-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The TNFA -308 G/A polymorphism modified the relationship between dietary fat intake, obesity risk, and serum lipid concentrations in black SA women. ..
  29. Gracious B, Chirieac M, Costescu S, Finucane T, Youngstrom E, Hibbeln J. Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of flax oil in pediatric bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2010;12:142-54 pubmed publisher
    ..Additionally, future research should focus on adherence and analysis of outcome based on changes in essential fatty acid tissue compositions, as opposed to group randomization alone. ..
  30. Ponter A, Parsy A, Saadé M, Mialot J, Ficheux C, Duvaux Ponter C, et al. Effect of a supplement rich in linolenic acid added to the diet of post partum dairy cows on ovarian follicle growth, and milk and plasma fatty acid compositions. Reprod Nutr Dev. 2006;46:19-29 pubmed
    ..05). Milk progesterone was unaffected by treatment. In conclusion, the increased supply of 18:3n-3 to the cows had only a modest effect on follicle populations and corpus luteum activity was unchanged. ..
  31. Acar N, Bonhomme B, Joffre C, Bron A, Creuzot Garcher C, Bretillon L, et al. The retina is more susceptible than the brain and the liver to the incorporation of trans isomers of DHA in rats consuming trans isomers of alpha-linolenic acid. Reprod Nutr Dev. 2006;46:515-25 pubmed
  32. Destaillats F, Trottier J, Galvez J, Angers P. Analysis of alpha-linolenic acid biohydrogenation intermediates in milk fat with emphasis on conjugated linolenic acids. J Dairy Sci. 2005;88:3231-9 pubmed
    ..Routes involved in biohydrogenation of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids in the rumen and subsequent endogenous metabolism of related biohydrogenation products are discussed. ..
  33. Faintuch J, Horie L, Barbeiro H, Barbeiro D, Soriano F, Ishida R, et al. Systemic inflammation in morbidly obese subjects: response to oral supplementation with alpha-linolenic acid. Obes Surg. 2007;17:341-7 pubmed
  34. Turpeinen A, Bärlund S, Freese R, Lawrence P, Brenna J. Effects of conjugated linoleic acid on linoleic and linolenic acid metabolism in man. Br J Nutr. 2006;95:727-33 pubmed
    ..This suggests that, in healthy human subjects consuming a diet with adequate intake of essential fatty acids, CLA does not affect metabolism of LA or LNA. ..
  35. Wang C, Harris W, Chung M, Lichtenstein A, Balk E, Kupelnick B, et al. n-3 Fatty acids from fish or fish-oil supplements, but not alpha-linolenic acid, benefit cardiovascular disease outcomes in primary- and secondary-prevention studies: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;84:5-17 pubmed
    ..The evidence for the benefits of fish oil is stronger in secondary- than in primary-prevention settings. Adverse effects appear to be minor. ..
  36. Gemeinhardt A, Alfalah M, Gück T, Naim H, Fuhrmann H. The influence of linoleic and linolenic acid on the activity and intracellular localisation of phospholipase D in COS-1 cells. Biol Chem. 2009;390:253-8 pubmed publisher
  37. Coakley M, Banni S, Johnson M, Mills S, Devery R, Fitzgerald G, et al. Inhibitory effect of conjugated alpha-linolenic acid from bifidobacteria of intestinal origin on SW480 cancer cells. Lipids. 2009;44:249-56 pubmed publisher
    ..The data indicate an inhibitory effect on cell growth (p <or= 0.001) of CALA, with cell numbers reduced by 85% at a concentration of 180 microM, compared with a reduction of only 50% with alpha-linolenic acid (p <or= 0.01). ..
  38. Chicco A, D Alessandro M, Hein G, Oliva M, Lombardo Y. Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats. Br J Nutr. 2009;101:41-50 pubmed publisher
    ..The present study provides new data regarding the beneficial effect of chia seed upon lipid and glucose homeostasis in an experimental model of dislipidaemia and IR. ..
  39. Tattersall A, Wilkins R. Effects of hexosamines and omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids on pH regulation by interleukin 1-treated isolated bovine articular chondrocytes. Pflugers Arch. 2008;456:501-6 pubmed publisher
  40. Schubert R, Kitz R, Beermann C, Rose M, Baer P, Zielen S, et al. Influence of low-dose polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation on the inflammatory response of healthy adults. Nutrition. 2007;23:724-30 pubmed
    ..However, further studies regarding fat-blend composition and period of supplementation in patients with inflammatory conditions are required. ..
  41. Chambron E. [Dietetics in coronary patients]. Soins. 2005;696 Suppl 1:1S6-7 pubmed
  42. Ishitsuka Y, Moriuchi H, Yang C, Golbidi S, Irikura M, Irie T. Effects of bolus injection of soybean-based fat emulsion and fatty acids on pulmonary gas exchange function. Biol Pharm Bull. 2009;32:500-3 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, the potent pulmonary toxicity of OA seems to depend not only on pulmonary vascular embolization but also pharmacological and/or inflammation-inducing properties. ..
  43. Pomponi M, Pomponi M. DHA deficiency and Alzheimer's disease. Clin Nutr. 2008;27:170 pubmed
  44. Nakashima Y, Sato A, Saito M. Effect of plant- and fish-oil derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on counteraction of n-3 fatty acid shortage in adult rats fed a lard diet. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2009;55:346-52 pubmed
    ..Our studies clearly show that dietary EPA+DHA and ALA have different physiologic effects...
  45. Boken S, Staples C, Sollenberger L, Jenkins T, Thatcher W. Effect of grazing and fat supplementation on production and reproduction of Holstein cows. J Dairy Sci. 2005;88:4258-72 pubmed
    ..7 vs. 42.4 d postpartum) than did cows not supplemented with SORB. Neither housing system nor SORB supplementation influenced detection of first estrus (50.5 d) or the mean length of each estrus period (447 min). ..
  46. Hassan A, Ibrahim A, Mbodji K, Coeffier M, Ziegler F, Bounoure F, et al. An ?-linolenic acid-rich formula reduces oxidative stress and inflammation by regulating NF-?B in rats with TNBS-induced colitis. J Nutr. 2010;140:1714-21 pubmed publisher
    ..05) compared with the TNBS group. These findings show that an ALA-rich formula is beneficial to TNBS-induced colitic rats via inhibition of oxidative and inflammatory stress. ..
  47. Egert S, Somoza V, Kannenberg F, Fobker M, Krome K, Erbersdobler H, et al. Influence of three rapeseed oil-rich diets, fortified with alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid on the composition and oxidizability of low-density lipoproteins: results of a controlled study in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61:314-25 pubmed
  48. Cui P, Duke R, Duke C. Monoepoxy octadecadienoates and monoepoxy octadecatrienoates 1: NMR spectral characterization. Chem Phys Lipids. 2008;152:122-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Also discussed is an interpretation of the 1H and 13C NMR spectra of these monoepoxides including the changes in the 13C resonance of the olefinic carbons on the neighboring double bonds resulting from epoxide formation. ..
  49. Pare P, Farag M, Krishnamachari V, Zhang H, Ryu C, Kloepper J. Elicitors and priming agents initiate plant defense responses. Photosynth Res. 2005;85:149-59 pubmed
  50. Guizy M, David M, Arias C, Zhang L, Cofan M, Ruiz Gutierrez V, et al. Modulation of the atrial specific Kv1.5 channel by the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2008;44:323-35 pubmed
    ..Together, these effects suggest that the antiarrhythmic potential of diets enriched with plant-derived n-3 PUFA result, in part, from direct effects on cardiac ion channels. ..
  51. Javadi M, Geelen M, Lemmens A, Lankhorst A, Schonewille J, Terpstra A, et al. The influence of dietary linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid on body composition and the activities of key enzymes of hepatic lipogenesis and fatty acid oxidation in mice. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2007;91:11-8 pubmed
    ..alpha-Linolenic acid vs. LA feeding did not influence lipogenic enzymes. It is concluded that feeding mice for 35 days with diets either rich in LA or ALA did not significantly influence body composition. ..
  52. Fincham J, Fontenot J, Swecker W, Herbein J, Neel J, Scaglia G, et al. Fatty acid metabolism and deposition in subcutaneous adipose tissue of pasture- and feedlot-finished cattle. J Anim Sci. 2009;87:3259-77 pubmed publisher
    ..07) on d 28 and remained elevated (ranged from 0.64 to 0.80% of total fatty acids) throughout the study. It appears that only a short time is needed to alter the n-3 and CLA composition of adipose tissue in cattle finished on pasture. ..