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When we talk about linoleic acid we refer to a “essential” lipid made up of 18 carbon atoms. By itself, the name may seem familiar, we hear it pronounced every now and then, even in advertisements, but we begin to understand what it is for and why we should be interested in knowing it.
It belongs to the group of essential omega 6 fatty acids together with other acids with names just as difficult to remember if you are not an expert in the sector: gamma-linolenic acid, dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid. In particular, linoleic acid is a fundamental precursor of some endogenous bioregulators such as prostaglandins, essential in inflammatory processes, and i thromboxani, which play a key role in blood clotting.
Linoleic acid: properties
Helps to lower cholesterol levels, those of total cholesterol. This is one of the best known effects of linoleic acid, and it should be emphasized that it is the level of the total one, therefore also of the "good" cholesterol. Another property of this acid concerns the inflammatory / autoimmune diseases such as atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, mood disorders, cancer, diabetes and obesity.
The risk of contracting them increases you have a excess linoleic acid in one's diet at the expense of alpha linolenic acid. All assessments to be done together with a specialist doctor.
Linoleic acid: foods
At the table we findlinoleic acid in sunflower seeds, wheat germ, sesame, nuts, soybeans, corn, olives and oils to be obtained. We have said that this acid is part of the essential omega 6 fatty acids, so better know that by consulting the Recommended Nutrient Intake Levels for the Italian population, we learn that they must make 2% of the total Kcal.
The ratio between omega 6 and omega 3 must be at least 6: 1 even if realistically speaking what is recorded on average in our country varies from 10: 1 to 13: 1.
If we are wondering why it is important to have a balanced diet also from this point of view, here is: ingesting the correct amount of linoleic acid serves to reduce the cardiovascular risk. The adjustment of the diet should not be done randomly, these necessary fats, must not be added but replace others such as saturated or trans ones that we usually find in pork and beef and old generation margarines.
Conjugated linoleic acid
We can also hear about conjugated linoleic acid, also indicated by the initials CLA. It is an isomer of our now known linoleic acid, abbreviated to LA, as Los Angeles. The difference between the two, as far as their composition is concerned, lies in the position of the two double bonds.
Conjugated linoleic acid is found in animal meat but not only. Sources of CLA are also milk and its derivatives, safflower oil and sunflower oil. While we are already adjusting our diet to try to rebalance the omega 6 - omega 3 ratio, let's also take a look at the amount of conjugated linoleic acid that is recommended daily. It ranges from 20 to 170 mg. What good is it? The properties attributed to CLA are anticancer, antithrombotic, immunomodulatory, antiobesigenic and antidiabetic properties.
Linoleic acid and omega 6
If we want fill up on linoleic acids and omega 6 in general, by not upsetting our diet more than we can, we can help ourselves with a supplement like the one available also online for 20 euros, with conjugated linoleic acid and omega 6, indicated both as a "fat burner" and as an "antioxidant".
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