What is ALA and should I supplement with it?
Asked by raydryden on Jun 03, 2008 in Nutrition


ALA is an alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that the body can’t make. It is found primarily in flaxseed, nuts, canola oil and soybeans, and it is an omega-3 fatty acid that has the capacity to fight inflammation and to prevent heart disease and other chronic conditions. But for the body to use ALA, it must be converted to other omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, the type found in fish oil.  Because the conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA is not always efficient, and because most of the research showing the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids was done with DHA and EPA, fish oil is considered to be the superior source of omega-3s.

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