Photo: Dos Winkel

Your body is the hero, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid



Your body can produce all the fatty acids you need from vegetable sourced linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid.
It is a natural process. The ratio of omega-3/6 is important for an efficient conversion. Two studies have calculated which ratio of omega-3/6 contributes to a maximum conversion into DHA and EPA. This appeared to be one part omega-3 and two to four parts omega-6. The greater the proportion of omega-6 the lower the amount of alpha-linolenic acid that is converted. For the ideal conversion the FAO recommends a maximum ratio of omega-3/6 or 1/10. (78) Another test revealed that with a ratio of up to 1/7 (omega-3/6) conversion is perfect and that if the proportion of omega-6 is higher than 7 parts, the conversion to EPA and DHA decreases clearly. The reverse is not the same. Too much omega-3 can slow down the conversion of linoleic acid to AA because it uses the same enzymes. ‘Most healthy people are able to produce all the omega-3 and 5 fatty acids they need from alpha-linolenic acid and from linoleic acid’ says Udo Erasmus.

In their book ‘The Omega Plan’ Artemis Simopoulos and Robinson state that approximately 10% of alpha linolenic acid is transformed into EPA or DHA. Scientific studies show that the conversion is between 5% and 20% among healthy people and can o exceptions drop to 0%. A fatty acid analysis can define whether you belong to these few exceptions.