All About Omega-3 ALA

An essential fatty acid that supports the growth & development of a healthy brain

What is Omega 3-ALA and why is it important?

What is Omega-3 ALA?

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a plant-based essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that the human body cannot produce, so it must be obtained through diet. (i)

Why is Omega-3 ALA important?

ALA is one of the two essential fatty acids, which means that ALA is required for biological processes and cannot be synthesized. (ii)

ALA has been shown to serve as a “neuroprotection” treatment, preserving neurological function. This suggests that ALA can induce protection against ischemia in spinal injury, preventing necrosis and apoptosis of motor neurons.  (iii)

ALA is the precursor of three important longer-chain n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA 20:5ω3), docosapentaenoic acid (DPAω3 22:5ω3), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA 22:6ω3), which have vital roles in brain development and function, cardiovascular health, and inflammatory response. (iv) (v) (vi) (vii)

ALA is partially converted to Omega-3 EPA in humans (8–20%), and converted to Omega-3 DHA at a rate of 0.5–9%. (viii) (ix)

How can we include Omega-3 ALA in a child’s diet?

The National Academy of Medicine recommends a daily ALA intake of 700-1600 mg, depending on age.

Dietary sources of ALA include soybean, canola, and flaxseed oils . (x)

Brainiac Kids products supply up to 160 mg of Omega-3 ALA per serving (up to 23% of recommended daily intake for children). For more specific ingredient information, visit our Product Page.

For more information:

  • The Brain Nutrition Gap

    Watch the Video
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institute of Health

    Read the Article
  • Direct diet quantification indicates low intakes of (n-3) fatty acids in children 4 to 8 years old.

    Read the Article