The value of omega-3 fatty acids from fish has been established for decades. Yet fish and its oils are often avoided because of a nasty aftertaste of some supplements and concern over possible mercury toxicity. Plus, some people simply don’t want to eat fish.
Plant-based alternatives for omega-3s are often substituted. Research, though, has been lacking on just how effective alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, is. Nutritionists at Penn State University have given us new insights, with positive findings.
The focus was on cardiovascular health. ALA is found in flaxseeds and its oil, and chia seeds. ALA is also in lower concentration in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, soy, and canola oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential for human health, but the body does not produce them, so they need to be consumed in order to maintain appropriate levels.
In reviewing existing literature on the subject, the researchers have come to the conclusion that ALA is likely just as effective in preventing cardiovascular disease as EPA and DHA, as they report on the current issue of Advances in Nutrition. See the full report here.