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A systematic review on the role of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) in combating non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Simran Gogna (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)
Jaspreet Kaur (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)
Kartik Sharma (Faculty of Agro-Industry, International Center of Excellence in Seafood Science and Innovation (ICE-SSI), Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand)
Vishesh Bhadariya (Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)
Jyoti Singh (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)
Vikas Kumar (Department of Food Science and Technology, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India)
Prasad Rasane (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)
Vipasha Vipasha (Centre for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 11 May 2022

Issue publication date: 7 February 2023

223

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the health benefits, functional role of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) in combating diet-related non-communicable diseases, absorption, metabolism, toxicity and extraction of ALA.

Design/methodology/approach

A wide range of publications were identified through electronic databases (Google Scholar, PubMed, SciELO, ScienceDirect, SpringerLink and ResearchGate) on the basis of different keywords such as dietary sources, functional role, metabolism, beneficial effects, toxicity and extraction.

Findings

ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is commonly found in dietary sources such as flaxseeds, rapeseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and fatty fish, with flaxseed being the richest among all the sources. Several convincing evidences depict the functional role of ALA in ameliorating cardiovascular functions, regulating systolic and diastolic blood pressure and improving neurological disorders, thus possessing anti-arrhythmic as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Its promising effect is also noticed on post-menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and headache as well as in balancing the levels of sex hormones in women suffering from PCOS. Furthermore, it was also responsible for reducing the concentrations of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6. Its excess consumption may lead to gastrointestinal disturbances such as flatulence and bloating. Various extraction techniques, namely, medium pressure liquid chromatography, silver silica gel chromatography, silver ion-solid phase extraction and silver ion-high pressure liquid chromatography are used for the extraction of ALA from its sources.

Originality/value

This is a novel review which will provide a brief overview of dietary sources, functional role, absorption and metabolism, health benefits, toxicity and extraction of ALA.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to Lovely Professional University for providing the necessary facilities, which were used for the preparation of manuscript.

Citation

Gogna, S., Kaur, J., Sharma, K., Bhadariya, V., Singh, J., Kumar, V., Rasane, P. and Vipasha, V. (2023), "A systematic review on the role of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) in combating non-communicable diseases (NCDs)", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 2, pp. 221-233. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-01-2022-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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