Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Effects of α-linolenic acid intake on blood lipid profiles：a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
To investigate the effect of ALA intake on blood lipid profiles, including triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL-C) and ratio of TC to HDL-C. We systematically searched randomized controlled trials of ALA intervention on PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library and related references up to March 2018. The final values were calculated as weighted mean difference (WMD) by using a random effects model. Subgroup analysis and meta-regression were used to explore the source of heterogeneity. Generalized least square was performed for dose–response analysis. Forty-seven studies with 1305 individuals in the ALA arm and 1325 individuals in the control arm were identified. Compared with control group, dietary intake of ALA significantly reduced the concentrations of TG (WMD −0.101 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.158 to −0.044 mmol/L; P = 0.001), TC (WMD −0.140 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.224 to −0.056 mmol/L; P = 0.001), LDL-C (WMD −0.131 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.191 to −0.071 mmol/L; P < 0.001), VLDL-C (WMD −0.121 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.170 to −0.073 mmol/L; P < 0.001), TC/HDL-C ratio (WMD −0.165 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.317 to −0.013 mmol/L; P = 0.033) and LDL-C/HDL-C ratio (WMD −0.158 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.291 to −0.025 mmol/L; P = 0.02). There is no effect of ALA intake on HDL-C (WMD 0.008 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.018 to 0.034 mmol/L; P = 0.541). Dose–response analysis indicated that 1 g per day increment of ALA was associated with a 0.0016 mmol/L, 0.0071 mmol/L, 0.0015 and 0.0061 mmol/L reduction in TG (95% CI: −0.0029 to −0.0002 mmol/L), TC (95% CI: −0.0085 to −0.0058 mmol/L), HDL-C (95% CI: −0.0020 to −0.0011 mmol/L) and LDL-C (95% CI: −0.0073 to −0.0049 mmol/L) levels, respectively. The effects of ALA intake on TG, TC and LDL-C concentrations were more obvious among Asian participants, and also more obvious on patients with hyperlipidemia or hyperglycemia compared to healthy individuals. Dietary ALA intervention improves blood lipid profiles by decreasing levels of TG, TC, LDL and VLDL-C. Our findings add to the evidence that increasing ALA intake could potentially prevent risk of cardiovascular diseases.