Alpha-Linolenic Acid

Does alpha-linolenic acid work?

Overall Effectiveness Rating for Alpha-Linolenic Acid

The overall effectiveness rating for alpha-linolenic acid is 1.3 out of 3. This rating means there is little to no evidence alpha-linolenic acid does what it claims. Using this supplement will not lead to positive results.

Overall Confidence Rating for Alpha-Linolenic Acid

There are 6 studies in the database on alpha-linolenic acid; the confidence rating is 33. A score above 80 means the effectiveness rating for this supplement is reliable. A score under 80 means there is insufficient evidence to ensure a reliable effectiveness rating. Note, this rating is for alpha-linolenic acid as a whole. There are also individual ratings for the claims below.

Individual Claims

The overall ratings above do no necessarily reflect each claim about alpha-linolenic acid. Individual claims can have higher or lower ratings. For example, some supplements may have a lot of backing for one claim, but be completely useless for another. Click on claims below for more information.

Body Composition (weight, muscle, body fat) Claims Effectiveness Rating Confidence Rating
increase muscle mass

Performance Claims Effectiveness Rating Confidence Rating
increase strength

Cardiovascular Health Claims Effectiveness Rating Confidence Rating
lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels
lower total cholesterol levels
lower triglyceride levels

General Health Claims Effectiveness Rating Confidence Rating
improve insulin sensitivity
lower fasting glucose


Title of Study
a-Linolenic acid and marine long-chain n-3 fatty acids differ only slightly in their effects on hemostatic factors in healthy subjects13
Alpha-linolenic acid supplementation and resistance training in older adults
Dietary alpha-linolenic acid, EPA, and DHA have differential effects on LDL fatty acid composition but similar effects on serum lipid profiles in normolipidemic humans
Dietary α-linolenic acid alters tissue fatty acid composition, but not blood lipids, lipoproteins or coagulation status in humans
Effects of dietary alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid on parameters of glucose metabolism in healthy volunteers
Supplementation of α-linolenic acid improves serum adiponectin levels and insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes