α-Linolenic acid Set type / Edit
«α-Linolenic acid (ALA) is an n−3 fatty acid. It is one of two essential fatty acids (the other being linoleic acid), so called because they are necessary for health and cannot be produced within the human body. They must be acquired through diet. ALA is an omega-3fatty acid found in seeds (chia, flaxseed, hemp, see also table below), nuts (notably walnut), and many common vegetable oils. In terms of its structure, it is named all-cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid. In physiological literature, it is listed by its lipid number, 18:3, and (n−3); its isomer GLA is 18:3 (n−6).
α-Linolenic acid is a carboxylic acid with an 18-carbon chain and three cisdouble bonds. The first double bond is located at the third carbon from the methyl end of the fatty acid chain, known as the n end. Thus, α-linolenic acid is a polyunsaturatedn−3 (omega-3) fatty acid. It is an isomer of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a polyunsaturated n−6 (omega-6) fatty acid.
The word linolenic is an irregular derivation from linoleic, which itself is derived from the Greek word linon (flax). Oleic means "of or relating to oleic acid" because saturating linoleic acid's omega-6 double bond produces oleic acid.» (wikipedia)