Health Benefits of α-Linolenic acid from Flaxseed

Source: Jennifer Adolphe, PhD, RD and Kelley Fitzpatrick, MSc  

Flaxseed is rich in nutrients that support a healthy lifestyle: omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fibre, and lignans. This publication reviews the scientific literature and provides an overview of the nutritional benefits of ground flaxseed in regards to the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

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Health Benefits of α-Linolenic acid from Flaxseed

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Highlights: 

  • Flaxseed oil contains over 50% of its fatty acids as α-linolenic acid, making it the richest plant source of this essential omega-3 fatty acid.

  • Current intakes of α-linolenic acid in North America are below recommendations for a large portion of the population, making flaxseed enrichment of common foods a solution to this dietary inadequacy.

  • α-linolenic acid is a healthy fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties and is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.