Flaxseed Oil Is Rich in Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Flaxseed oil has a unique blend of the “good” fats: the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA). Essential fatty acids must be consumed through food or supplements, as they cannot be made in the body.
Approximately 45-52% of the fatty acids in flaxseed oil are ALA, making it the richest plant source of this essential omega-3 fatty acid.1
How Much ALA Per Day Do You Need?
The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 1.6 g/day ALA for men and 1.1 g/day ALA for women, with an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 5:1 to 10:1.2
However, national surveys report that most Americans are not meeting these recommendations. Data from the 2003-2008 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that over 40% of adults are not meeting the recommended intake for ALA.3
Although the Institute of Medicine recommends an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 5:1 to 10:1, most American diets consist of much higher ratios, about 16:1 or higher.4 This is because Americans consume oils that are usually higher in the LA omega-6 fatty acid, such as soybean and canola oil. Consuming more flaxseed oil, whether in the diet or as a supplement, can help to improve the ratio to recommended levels, since flaxseed oil contains more than three times as much omega-3 as omega-6 fatty acids.
Learn More: How Much EPA & DHA Per Day Should You Take?
ALA Benefits: Helps Support a Healthy Heart†
The National Academy of Medicine, NAM, (formerly known as Institute of Medicine; IOM) recommends consuming omega-3 fatty acids from various sources, including tofu, walnuts, flaxseeds and their oils.5
Large population-based studies suggest that consuming both plant and marine sources of omega-3 fatty acids help support a healthy heart.† Flaxseed and its oil, whether through your diet or as a supplement, is a great way to get the recommended amount of the essential omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Try Nature Made Flaxseed Oil 1000 mg, made with organic flaxseed oil.
- Choo WS, Birch J, Dufour J. Physicochemical and quality characteristics of cold-pressed flaxseed oils. J Food Compost Anal. 2007;20:202-211.
- Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2005.
- Papanikolaou Y, Brooks J, Reider C et al. U.S. adults are not meeting recommended levels for fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake: results of an analysis using observational data from NHANES 2003-2008. Nutr J 2014;13:31
- Liu J and Ma DWL. The Role of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Nutrients. 2014;6:5184-5223.
- American Heart Association. Fish 101. Updated Aug 2015. Website: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Fish-%20101_UCM_305986_Article.jsp# Accessed December 20, 2017.