[Biological activity of linseed oil as the source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid]

Biomed Khim. 2004 Jan-Feb;50(1):25-43.
[Article in Russian]


Flaxseed oil is the most abundant plant source of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid omega-3. This review focuses on the biological effects of dietary alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) compared with long-chain omega-3 derivatives. ALA is not equivalent in its biological effects to the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in marine fish oils. However, ALA is metabolized to eicosapentaenoic acid, which may replace arachidonic acid in membrane phospholipides. Ingestion of flaxseed oil may alter the generation of eicosanoids, procoagulant activity and other membrane-dependent responses and exert antiallergic, antiatherosclerotic, antiarrhythmic effects. Beneficial effects of flaxseed oil have been shown in prevention and management of cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Eicosanoids / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Linseed Oil* / chemistry
  • Linseed Oil* / therapeutic use
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / metabolism
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / pharmacology*
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / therapeutic use


  • Cytokines
  • Eicosanoids
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Linseed Oil