alpha-linolenic acid (ALA); linoleic acid (LA); omega-6; omega-3

    • Anonymous
      March 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      There is another thread discussing the use of LA. But, that is a different LA- Lipoic Acid.

      I hope this thread provides a stepping stone to a better understanding of this group of fatty acids including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) an omega-3 fatty acid converted to (EPA) and (DHA); LA, an omega-6 fatty acid converted to AA.

      From the Office of Dietary Supplements; National Institutes of Health:

      “[I]Summary of key findings
      – The polyunsaturated fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) must come from the diet because they cannot be made by the body. ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is converted in the body to the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). LA, an omega-6 fatty acid, is converted to the fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA).
      – Most American diets provide more than 10 times as much omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. There is general agreement that individuals should consume more omega-3 and less omega-6 fatty acids to promote good health.[/I]”

      Please pay attention to the part about “Most American diets provide 10 times as much omega-6 than Omega-3. [COLOR=”Red”]individuals should consume less omega-6….[/COLOR]”

      In a previous thread the question was posed to me- “How does Omega 3 (fish oil) lower your pain levels?” I suspect the answer is lies partially within this: “…[I]Impact on other conditions: Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce joint tenderness and need for corticosteroid drugs in rheumatoid arthritis.[/I]”

      I believe the process I paste here next may also contribute to why I feel better on 4g of fish oil daily. Here goes-

      “…[I]Eicosanoids derived from EPA (particularly the series-3 prostaglandins), in contrast, decrease excessive series-2 prostaglandin production. As a result, adequate production of EPA-derived series-3 prostaglandins may help protect individuals against heart attacks and strokes as well as certain inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and asthma…[/I]”

      For absolute proof, there probably is none. Witness: “[I]…The quantity and strength of evidence for the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cognitive function and decline, dementia, and neurological diseases vary greatly. Given the overall small number of studies and generally poor quality of clinical trials, substantive conclusions about the value of these compounds for these conditions cannot be drawn…[/I]”

      Do you own due diligence, check with your doctor and as Mr. Spock, of Star Trek- not the kid’s doctor, would say- “Live Long and Prosper.”