The omega-3 precursor alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA) is found in walnuts and flax seeds, and the omega-6 precursor linoleic acid (LA) is found in corn and vegetable oils.
The findings suggest that "the association between alpha-linolenic acid
and risk of prostate cancer may not be a reflection of animal fat intake," he said.
Conversion of Alpha-Linolenic Acid
to Eicosapentaenoic, Docosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Acids in Young Women," British Journal of Nutrition 88(4), 411-420 (2002).
Our bodies can make these from another omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid
, that is found in flaxseeds, canola oil, walnuts, and other foods.
In the Jan/Feb issue of Running & FitNews[R] we discussed how, of all nuts, walnuts have the greatest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids and contain more alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA) in particular than do other nuts.
The lighter moods might have been associated with higher intakes of another omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid
The link with EPA--the other major omega-3 fat in fish--was weaker, and there was no link with alpha-linolenic acid
, the omega-3 fat that's found in soy, canola, and flax oil.
(ALA), the specific omega-3 found in flaxseed, differs slightly from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are the major fats in fish.
Omega 3 fatty acids are made up of the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA) and its most common derivatives, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Flaxseed contains high concentrations of the shorter chain omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid
(ALA)," he explained in a recent interview.
The researchers believe that by giving up dressings made with oil, consumers also give up alpha-linolenic acid
, a good source of fat.
After 4 weeks, concentrations of alpha-linolenic acid
and eicosopentenoic acid-two types of omega 3s-in the blood of people eating sunflower oil remained comparable to amounts when the study began.