Does taking omega 3 fatty acids from plants improve health ?


“Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid is a essential polyunsaturated fatty acids commonly extracted from plants”

These fatty acids are found in “soybean, nuts, canola oils, flaxseed, and other plant foods”.

A recent study published in BMJ shows that these dietary fatty acids are good for overall health and reduces risk of death. The study found benefits in terms of reducing strokes and heart problems but paradoxically these fatty acids slightly increased the risk of death from cancer .

A word of caution applies to all ‘food and disease’ association reports. Almost every week there are reports of studies exploring associations between “various food/drink” with “various diseases”. Some of them are conflicting and sometimes confusing with a positive study followed by a negative study. So take all food related studies with a pinch of salt !

Reference: Dietary intake and biomarkers of alpha linolenic acid and risk of all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies
BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 14 October 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2213

Disclaimer: Please note – This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed, in any way, by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog likely represents some of the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and MAY CHANGE overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light.