“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: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2213 (Published 14 October 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2213
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