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alpha-linolenic acid

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Definition: α-Linolenic acid (ALA) is an organic compound found in many common vegetable oils. Systematically, it is named all-cis-9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid. In physiological literature, it is given the name 18:3 (n−3).

ALA is a carboxylic acid with an 18-carbon chain and three cis double bonds. The first double bond is located at the third carbon from the n end. Thus, ALA is a polyunsaturated n−3 fatty acid (omega-3 fatty acid) . It is an isomer of γ-linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated n−6 fatty acid (omega-6 fatty acid).

See also

- lipids