A new study has found that the high intake of alpha linolenic acid (ALA)—found mainly in nuts, seeds, and plant oils—is associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, and specifically from diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
These are the results of the new study published by ‘The British Medical Journal (BMJ)’ yesterday. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a type of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid found in plants, such as soybean, nuts, canola oils and flaxseed.
Higher ALA intake was associated with a slightly higher risk of death from cancer, but the researchers said further studies are needed to confirm this. Previous studies have shown that a high ALA intake is associated with a lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease, but findings from other studies on ALA and risk of death have been inconclusive.
To address this uncertainty, an international team of researchers analysed the results of 41 studies published between 1991 and 2021 on the associations between ALA and risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Together, these studies involved around 120,000 participants aged between 18 and 98 years who were monitored for between two and 32 years.