The α-linolenic acid (ALA) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid belonging to the omega-3 fatty acids group. The α-linolenic acid cannot be synthesized by the human body. ALA is the precursor (= compound participating in a reaction that produces another compound) of all existing omega 3 families.
They are found in vegetable oils (flax, nuts, soya) and in fish oils.
The Omega 3s are known to have a beneficial role in the brain and heart.
This type of fatty acid is also very useful for athletes. As a matter of fact, they help to improve performance and to reduce fatigue.
Their anti-inflammatory effects allow preventing problems related to joints and ligaments. They also help to better oxygenate the muscles.
The Omega 3s are an essential component of the cell’s membrane and provide fluidity and stability to it.
The Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that belongs to the essential omega 6 family which cannot be produced or synthesized by the human body. This acid also helps to improve performance and as well as a better recovery.
Linoleic acid plays also an important role in the structure of our cell’s membrane, it is also involved in the functioning of the immune system as well as in the inflammatory response process.
They are involved in the formation of our skin cells.
They are found in almost all vegetable oils (flax, rapeseed, olive …).
Omega 3 / Omega 6 Ratio
Nowadays, our society consumes more linoleic acid than ALA which may cause a balance disorder in the omega 6 / omega 3 ratio, which tends to have harmful effects on our health. These two essential fatty acids use the same conversation enzymes, which leads a competition between them.
Therefore, it is important to bring different types of omegas to balance our diet.
Talking about a balanced ratio, the most beneficial vegetable oil is rapeseed oil.
A poor balance between omega 3 (anti-inflammatory activity) and omega 6 (inflammatory activity) could, therefore, lead to pulmonary (asthma, etc.), cardiovascular, articular or musculotendinous risks.