Pallavi Singh
Written & Compiled by Pharmacist Pallavi Singh, M. Pharmacy (Pharmacy Practice)
Suchitra Chari
Medically Reviewed by Suchitra Chari, M.S. M.Sc.
Last Updated on Nov 06, 2017
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General Information on Alpha-linolenic acid

Generic Name : Alpha-linolenic acid

Pronunciation : Al-pha-lino-lenic-acid 

Latest prescription information about Alpha-linolenic acid. Learn how to pronounce the drug's name, its indications, dosage, how to take, when to take, when not to take, side effects, special precautions, warnings and its storage instructions . Also listed are the Indian trade name(s) of the drug and its price list.
Therapeutic Classification : Dietary Supplements

Trade Names/Brand Names of Alpha-linolenic acid

Absolut-DM, Acmic-Alpha, Acobmin Forte, Acteva Alpha, Acteva-DM, Agemax-G and Ala Plus

Overview of Alpha-linolenic acid

• Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a type of omega-3 fatty acid obtained from plant sources. The other two omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in seafood.
• Alpha-linolenic acid is necessary for health and cannot be produced within the human body. It is found in seeds like flaxseed, chia and hemp, nuts like walnut and in vegetable oils like canola, soybean and flaxseed oils.

Why is Alpha-linolenic acid Prescribed? (Indications)

Alpha-linolenic acid is used to prevent or treat the disease of heart and blood vessels by reducing the risk of heart disease or heart attack, plaque(fatty build-up) formations in arteries serving the heart, and high blood pressure.

Alpha-linolenic acid may also improve lung function in people having asthma

When should Alpha-linolenic acid not to be taken? (Contraindications)

• Alpha-linolenic acid is contraindicated in patients with dyslipidemia, prostate cancer and allergy to synthetic supplements/chemicals.

What is the dosage of Alpha-linolenic acid?

• Infants who breastfeed get the benefits of alpha-linolenic acid from their moms provided they are eating a healthy meal
• Infant formula should contain alpha-linolenic acid
• Supplements are not needed in children

• Consumption of 1.2 – 2 gm/day as part of dietary food or 1.6 gm/day as part of a mediterranean diet in order to see cardioprotective effects. The amount of alpha-linolenic acid in oils and foods vary.

How should Alpha-linolenic acid be taken?

• Can be taken before or after food intake.

What are the warnings and precautions for Alpha-linolenic acid?

• Alpha-linolenic acid consumed as part of food is likely be at safe levels. The same cannot be said for alpha-linolenic acid taken a supplements. Hence, it is better to avoid taking alpha-linolenic acid supplements when you are pregnant and breastfeeding.
Omega-3 may increase the risk of bleeding, particularly at doses of three grams daily or greater. Hence, supplements might need to be stopped before a surgery.
• Alpha-linolenic acid may increase the risk of macular degeneration.
• Alpha-linolenic acid is associated with an increased risk of prostrate cancer.

What are the side effects of Alpha-linolenic acid?

• Alpha-linolenic acid is safe in most of the adults when used in amounts found in foods.
• Alpha-linolenic acid from food sources is very well tolerated. If it is consumed in excess it may cause weight gain.

What are the other precautions for Alpha-linolenic acid?

Avoid excess dose.

What are the Drug Interactions of Alpha-linolenic acid?

• Alpha-linolenic acid might increase the effects of blood-thinning medications like warfarin, clopidogrel and aspirin and thus increase the risk of bleeding.
• Statins used to lower cholesterol levels may work better when alpha-linolenic acid is consumed alongside. Examples of some statins are atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin, and pravastatin.

What are the storage conditions for Alpha-linolenic acid?

• Store in a cool and dry place
• Protect from light and moisture

Last Updated : Jul 2018

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