Plant-based omega-3 fatty acid is 'just as effective' as fish-based ones

A new study has revealed that plant-based omega-3 fatty acid is just as effective as fish-based ones.

ANI| Last Updated: Nov 18, 2014, 11:05 AM IST

Washington: A new study has revealed that plant-based omega-3 fatty acid is just as effective as fish-based ones.

A substantial amount of evidence exists supporting the heart-health benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA), marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids, but much less evidence exists to demonstrate the positive effects of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.

Researcher Jennifer Fleming said that the benefits reported for EPA and DHA, which can be found in seafood and fish oil, are stronger because supplements of EPA and DHA were tested, and EPA and DHA was the only difference between the treatment and control groups.

Fleming added that in the studies of ALA, which is found in flaxseed and its oil, vegetable oils, and some nuts, there were diet differences beyond ALA between the treatment and control groups.

In reviewing existing literature on the subject, the researchers have come to the conclusion that ALA is likely just as effective in preventing cardiovascular disease as EPA and DHA have proven to be.

Researcher Penny Kris-Etherton said that their understanding of the cardiovascular disease benefits of ALA has advanced markedly during the past decade and based on the current evidence, ALA decreases CVD risk.

The study is published in Advances in Nutrition.