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Alpha-lenolenic acid (ALA) is an essential fatty acid.
Burdge GC, Calder PC. 2005. Conversion of α-linolenic acid to longer-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in human adults. Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45: 581-597.
Hussein N, Ah-Sing E, Wilkinson P, et al. 2005. Long-chain conversion of [13C]linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid in response to marked changes in their dietary intake in men. J. Lipid Res. 46: 269-280.
Burdge GC. 2006. Metabolism of α-linolenic acid in humans. Prostaglandins Leukot. Essent. Fatty Acids 75: 161-168.
Burdge GC, Jones AE, Wootton SA. 2002. Eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids are the principal products of α-linolenic acid metabolism in young men. Br. J. Nutr. 88: 355-363.
ALA reduces the risk of heart disease.
Djoussé L, Pankow JS, Eckfeldt JH, et al. 2001. Relation between dietary linolenic acid and coronary artery disease in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 74: 612-619.
Djoussé L, Hunt SC, Arnett DK, et al. 2003. Dietary linolenic acid is inversely associated with plasma triacylglycerol: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 78: 1098-1102.
Djoussé L, Folsom AR, Province MA, et al. 2003. Dietary linolenic acid and carotid atherosclerosis: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 77: 819-825.
Djoussé L, Arnett DK, Carr J, et al. 2005. Dietary linolenic acid is inversely associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Circulation 111: 2921-2926
Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Giovannucci EL, et al. 1996. Dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease in men: Cohort follow up study in the United States. Br. Med. J. 313: 84-90.
Mozaffarian D, Ascherio A, Hu FB, et al. 2005. Interplay between different polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease in men. Circulation 111: 157-164.
Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, et al. 1999. Dietary intake of α-linolenic acid and risk of fatal ischemic heart disease among women. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 69: 890-897.
Albert CM, Oh K, Whang W, et al. 2005. Dietary α-linolenic acid intake and risk of sudden cardiac death and coronary heart disease. Circulation 112: 3232-3238.
ALA inhibits inflammation.
Licastro F, Candore G, Lio D, et al. 2005. Innate immunity and inflammation in ageing: a key for understanding age-related diseases. Immunity Aging 2: 8. doi: 10.1186/1742-4933-2-8.
Griffin WST. 2006. Inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 83(suppl): 470S-474S.
Greenberg AS, Obin MS. 2006. Obesity and the role of adipose tissue in inflammation and metabolism. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 83(suppl): 461S-465S.
Healy DA, Wallace FA, Miles EA, et al. 2000. Effect of low-to-moderate amounts of dietary fish oil on neutrophil lipid composition and function. Lipids 35: 763-768.
Zhao G, Etherton TD, Martin KR, et al. 2004. Dietary α-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory and lipid cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men and women. J. Nutr. 134: 2991-2997.
Zhao G, Etherton TD, Martin KR, et al. 2007. Dietary α-linolenic acid inhibits proinflammatory cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 85: 385-391.
Caughey GE, Mantzioris E, Gibson RA, et al. 1996. The effect on human tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin 1β production of diets enriched in n-3 fatty acids from vegetable oil or fish oil. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 63: 116-122.
Hall AV, Parbtani A, Clark WF, et al. 1993. Abrogation of MRL/lpr lupus nephritis by dietary flaxseed. Am. J. Kidney Dis. 22: 326-332. 102. Myers GL, Rifai N, Tracy RP, et al. 2004. CDC/AHA workshop on markers of inflammation and cardiovascular disease: application to clinical and public health practice – report from the Laboratory Science Discussion Group. Circulation 110: e545-e549.
ALA appears to reduce cancer risk.
de Lorgeril M, Salen P, Martin J-L, et al. 1998. Mediterranean dietary pattern in a randomized trial: prolonged survival and possible reduced cancer rate. Arch. Intern. Med. 158: 1181-1187.
ALA maintains nervous system.
Institute of Medicine. 2002. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids, National Academies Press, Washington, DC, p 7-1— 7-69 (dietary fiber), 8-1— 8-97 (fat and fatty acids).
Holman RT, Johnson SB, Hatch TF. 1982. A case of human linolenic acid deficiency involving neurological abnormalities. Am. J. Clin. Nutr 35: 617-623.
Anderson GJ, Connor WE. 1989. On the demonstration of ω-3 essential-fatty-acid deficiency. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 49: 585-587.
Bjerve KS, Fischer S, Alme K. 1987. Alpha-linolenic acid deficiency in man: effect of ethyl linolenate on plasma and erythrocyte fatty acid composition and biosynthesis of prostanoids. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 46: 570-576.
Bjerve KS, Mostad IL, Thoresen L. 1987. Alpha-linolenic acid deficiency in patients on long-term gastric-tube feeding: estimation of linolenic acid and long-chain unsaturated n-3 fatty acid requirement in man. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 45: 66-77.
Bjerve KS, Fischer S, Wammer F, Egeland T. 1989. α-Linolenic acid and long-chain ω-3 fatty acid supplementation in three patients with ω-3 fatty acid deficiency: effect on lymphocyte function, plasma and red cell lipids, and prostanoid formation. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 49: 290-300.