- Flax Oil Review Review by AstroNutrition In-House Review
Flaxseed oil supplements are a great way to improve ALNA levels in one’s diet. Studies have found that flaxseed or flaxseed oil positively affects the tissue omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. They also possess components including lignan prescursors that might help prevent breast and other cancers, although commercial flaxseed oil products do not contain enough to provide the same effect.
Improving dietary ALNA is important for several reasons. For one, ALNA is oxidized faster than the other primary omega-3 fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA), and a normal diet does not include enough ALNA. Western Europeans and Americans often end up with an imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The imbalance can lead to cardiovascular disease, depression, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and other health problems.
Arachidonic acid (AA) and lipogenesis: AA is an omega-6 fatty acid created from LA. The rate of conversion is low, but due to high amounts of LA in many diets AA concentrations can be a problem. AA turns into certain leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and thromboxanes that in excess can cause arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and other inflammatory problems. Animal studies show that ALNA turns into LC-PUFAs that slows LA conversion to AA. LC-PUFAs also promote fatty acid oxidation.
Cardiovascular disease:Animals studies and epidemiological studies show that ALNA lowers the risk and fatality rates of cardiovascular disease. This includes preventing arrhythmias, reducing blood pressure, and slowing platelet aggregation. However, studies on ALNA’s effect on lipid profiles vary possibly due to ALNA rich diets often being high in trans fat that increase cardiovascular disease susceptibility.
ALNA vs. EPA/DHA: ALNA at low rates converts to EPA and DHA. It is debated whether its effectiveness is due to anything besides EPA and DHA conversion, although some studies show it might.
Conclusion: Flaxseed contains EFAs that can help improve the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, which provides a variety of health benefits. However, it is not conclusive that that the benefit it related to anything other than EPA and DHA, which are available from fish oil supplements. More studies need to be done to determine ALNA’s role in the body. (Posted on 2/20/11)
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