What is ALA?
ALA is an essential Omega-3 fatty acid that is found in plants and is the most common Omega-3 fatty acid in our diets. There are three main types of Omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
You may be more familiar with EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids are these are usually found in most Omega-3 supplements including the majority of our Omega-3 supplements range at MINAMI® and that’s because ALA differs in how it works.
Alpha-linolenic acid is not to be confused with alpha-lipoic acid, which is also often abbreviated to ALA but is an antioxidant that helps the body turn glucose into energy.
How Does ALA Omega-3 Work?
ALA is essential for good health and needs to be consumed through your diet as the body can’t produce it naturally. ALA can’t be made in the body, but it’s the parent fatty acid for the forming of EPA and DHA. Your body naturally converts ALA into these Omega-3 fatty acids, but at very low levels.
What are the Benefits of ALA?
Omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to an array of health benefits, including normal heart function, brain function, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels. However, these benefits primarily come from EPA and DHA Omega-3s.
As your body converts ALA into these forms of Omega-3 at such low levels, it can’t be determined if it provides the same level of benefits, but it is certainly an important part of the process. ALA, however, has been proven to help the growth and development of children alongside cholesterol maintenance.
Which Foods Contain ALA?
As our bodies can’t naturally produce Omega-3 themselves, it’s important that we get ALA through our diets. Unlike EPA and DHA Omega-3 which are commonly found in foods such as oily fish and other seafood, ALA is a form of Omega-3 found solely in plants such as:
- Chia and flax seeds
- Rapeseed, flaxseed, and soybean oils
As ALA can only be converted into the beneficial Omega-3s DHA and EPA in very small quantities, many people tend to turn to Omega-3 supplements to help increase their Omega-3 intake.
Our VeganDHA Omega-3 offers a plant-based Omega-3 option made from sustainably sourced algae oil rather than the traditional fish oil. It contains the carotenoid Astaxanthin which is recognised as one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature and offers high levels of DHA which plays an important role in supporting normal brain health and vision. Providing you with all the same Omega-3 benefits without compromising your values.