Alpha-linolenic Fatty Acid (Omega 3)


Omega 3 is the common name of α-linolenic fatty acids, whose scientific name is: 18:3 c9, c12, c15 (n-3). It is termed essential fatty acid because the body can not synthesize by itself (unlike other fatty acids of the n-3).

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are involved in a variety of important processes: the constitution and the integrity of cell membranes, the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, brain, hormonal and inflammatory, etc.. Consumption and absorption of omega-3 and omega-6 thus allows the body to produce substances essential for proper operation.

Omega 3 sources

See the list of foods that provide the most Omega 3


The recommended intake for human consumption amounted to 0.8% of energy intake (which corresponds to the 100% value in the ANC Nutritiomètre ®) as α-linolenic acid is in adults , about 5 g per day. For reasons of competition between the two families (n-6 and n-3), it seems desirable to avoid excessive intake of α-linolenic acid.

The Omega 6 / Omega 3 ratio should strive to 5 because of the desirable limit of linoleic acid and the interest of an adequate intake of α-linolenic acid.

(Source: "Recommended dietary allowances for the French population," the CNERNA-CNRS. Edition coordinated by Ambroise Martin.)