Articles

Relationship Between Two Fatty Acids and CAD.

Date:

05-Nov-2001

Source

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Professional Data: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Article

Research over the past few years has indicated that linolenic and linoleic acid are good for the heart. These two fatty acids are also known as Omega 3 (linolenic) and Omega 6 (linoleic). Omega 3 fatty acids are found in flaxseed, chia, rapeseed, soybeans, alfalfa, and walnuts. Cold water fish and wild game also are sources of omega-3 fatty acids. In most cases, people are not able to consume adequate alpha-linolenic acid from dietary sources, and nutritional supplementation is sometimes recommended.

Omega 6 fatty acids are found in evening primrose oil (72%), black currant seed oil (44%), and flaxseed oil (18%). Corn, sunflower, and safflower oils contain over 60 percent omega-6. Linoleic acid is a parent to gamma linolenic acid, which is found in oils such as evening primrose oil.

In order to gain a full and conclusive picture of the relationship between these two fatty acids and coronary artery disease, researchers from several medical universities reviewed data from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. From a large body of participants, the authors reviewed 4584 cases of patients whose average age was around 51. Extensive food questionnaires were filled out by the participants and adjustments were made for other risk factors and gender.

The authors concluded, “A higher intake of either linolenic or linoleic acid was inversely related to the prevalence odds ratio of CAD. The 2 fatty acids had synergistic effects on the prevalence odds ratio of CAD.” These findings further support the intake of these two fatty acids as a part of a heart healthy diet.1

References

1. Djoussé L. Relation between dietary linolenic acid and coronary artery disease in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Nov 2001;74(5):612-619.