Omega-3 Unsaturated fats: A Potential Partner in Delaying the Progress of ALS
Summary: A type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) may slow the progression of ALS.
Higher blood levels of ALA were associated with ALS patients’ slower disease progression and lower mortality risk. Omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood of 449 ALS patients were used to group them. Over the course of 18 months, the researchers tracked disease progression and survival rates.
Those with higher ALA levels had a 50% lower risk of death during the study than those with lower ALA levels, according to the findings.
Foods like flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and canola and soybean oils all contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Kjetil Bjornevik, the study’s lead author, has said that previous studies have also shown that eating a diet high in ALA can lower ALS risk.
In order to definitively determine the potential benefits of ALA for individuals with ALS, the research team is now advocating for a randomized trial. They want to get money for this important research, despite the difficulties caused by the fact that ALA is not a drug that can be patented.
A diet high in ALA and elevated blood levels of this fatty acid have previously been demonstrated to reduce the risk of developing ALS.
Lead author Kjetil Bjornevik, an assistant professor of epidemiology and nutrition, stated, “In this study, we found that among people living with ALS, higher blood levels of ALA were also associated with a slower disease progression and a lower risk of death within the study period.”
“This fatty acid may have neuroprotective effects that could benefit people with ALS,” according to “these findings, along with our previous research.”
449 people with ALS who participated in a clinical trial were the subject of the study. As a feature of this preliminary, the seriousness of their side effects and the movement of their infection were tried and afterward scored from 0 to 40, with higher scores demonstrating less extreme side effects of the sickness.
The researchers divided the participants into four groups based on their blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, from those with the highest to lowest levels. According to the clinical trial, they then followed up 18 months later to monitor the groups’ physical functionality and survival.
They discovered that of all the omega-3 fatty acids, ALA had the greatest benefits because it was strongly associated with slower aging and lower mortality risk.
33% and 19% of the 126 participants who passed away within the first 18 months of the study were in the group with the lowest ALA levels, respectively.
The researchers found that participants with the highest levels of ALA had a 50% lower risk of death during the study period than participants with the lowest levels of ALA after making adjustments for age, sex, ethnicity, BMI, duration of symptoms, and a family history of ALS.
During the course of the study, a reduction in the risk of death was also linked to two additional fatty acids: linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds, and eicosapentaenoic acid, an additional omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish and fish oil.
Professor of epidemiology and nutrition and senior author Alberto Ascherio commented, “The link our study found between diet and ALS is intriguing.”
“We are now contacting clinical investigators to promote a randomized trial to see if ALA is beneficial to ALS patients.” Because ALA is not a drug that can be patented, getting funding will be difficult, but we hope to complete the project.