Plant-based Fat can Reduce Death Risk (Study Finds) ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Key Highlights

  • Previous studies have shown that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
  • However, no study has shown that plant-based fat can reduce death risk from all causes.
  • This systemic analysis have found that higher blood levels of ALA were also associated with lower death risk from all causes except cancer.

According to the CDC report, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. [1]

In every 36 seconds, one person dies in the US from cardiovascular disease. [1] ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Previous studies shown that lower consumption of saturated and trans fat and high consumption of polyunsaturated fat, particularly omega 3 fat is recommended for a good heart health. [2]

Although some meta-analyses are available on the link between ALA and the risk of chronic diseases, no study has examined the association between ALA and death risk from all causes.

For this reason, an international team of researchers is systematically reviewed the previous findings on the association between ALA and the risk of death from all causes by considering both dietary intake and tissue biomarkers of ALA. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The research was published on BMJ. [3]

Table of Contents

The Review Process

Researchers analyzed the results of previous 41 studies conducted between 1991 and 2021 on the link between ALA and the risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

All together, this analysis involved around 120,000 participants aged between 18 and 98 years; who were monitored for 2 and 32 years.

They also accounted factors such as age, weight, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.

Human Heart Disease, Plant-based Fat can Reduce Death Risk
ALA is Good For your Heart.

The Result of this Analysis

After thoroughly analyzing the data, researchers found that high intake of ALA was associated with 10 per cent, 8 per cent and 11 per cent lower risk of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, respectively.

This is equivalent to 113 fewer deaths per 10,000 persons per year for all causes, 33 fewer cardiovascular disease deaths, and 23 fewer coronary heart disease deaths.

However, a higher intake of ALA was linked with a slightly higher risk of cancer mortality.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Thy also found that 63 extra cancer death from the highest ALA intake compared with the lowest intake of ALA intake. For this reason, researcher warns that the recommended ALA intake should be made cautiously.

A direct does-response effect was also found for dietary ALA intake and cardiovascular disease mortality.ย ๐Ÿ‘โ€Œโ€Œ

For example, a 1g per day increase in ALA intake (equivalent to one tablespoon of canola oil or 0.5 ounces of walnut oil) was associated with a 5% lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.

How Plant-based Fat can Reduce Death Risk?

Alpha-linolenic acid is converted into Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). [4]

EPA and DHA can decrease the risk of heart disease by helping to maintain normal heart rhythm and heart pumping. [5]

ALA might also reduce blood clots. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Young women medical researcher looking through microscope, Walnuts can Lower Bad Cholesterol
Further studies are needed.

The Limitation of this Study

This is an observational analysis of previous studies. For this reason, casualties may occur.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Also, there may be some unknown factors or measurement errors of food and nutrient intakes was present, which might have affected the results.

Further studies are needed to establish the link between ALA and a wider range of causes of death. It will provide a more comprehensive assessment of the potential health effects of ALA.

Also, the link between different ALA rich foods and mortality rate need to be examined in the future.

My Opinion

Now, what does this finding mean to you? ๐Ÿค”

This study is shown that plant-based fat can reduce death risk.

So, you need to consume alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is found in soybean, nuts, canola oils, flaxseed, and other plant food sources.

But eat it within limit. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

It’s recommended that adult females consume 1.1 grams daily, and adult males consume 1.6 grams daily to maintain adequate nutrition. [6]

You can find any future updates of this topic in NutritionCrown news section. 

The Final Word

Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

ALA is shown to decrease the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

But remember, everything is dangerous in excess. โ˜ ๏ธ

So, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes for better health. ๐Ÿฅ— ๐Ÿƒ


This article is written by a certified nutritionist and verified by scientific evidence. โ˜‘๏ธ

We rely on reputed and specialized media sites, academic research institutions, peer-reviewed studies, government agencies, and medical associations to source information. ๐Ÿ“ฐ

We avoid using tertiary references. Know more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. ๐Ÿง

  1. Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC): Heart Disease Facts. Accessed 18 October 2021.
  2. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source. Accessed 18 October 2021.
  3. BMJ: High intake of fatty acid in nuts, seeds and plant oils linked to lower risk of death. Accessed 18 October 2021.
  4. PubMed: Metabolism of alpha-linolenic acid in humans. Accessed 18 October 2021.
  5. PubMed: Prevention of sudden cardiac death by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Accessed 18 October 2021.
  6. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Accessed 18 October 2021.

About the Author

A. R. Choudhury, ARChoudhuryMSc,

A. R. Choudhury is a IGNOU certified nutritionist in India with a Bachelorโ€™s and Masterโ€™s degree in Biochemistry.

He also has considerable research experience and additional certificates in nutrition. ๐Ÿ‘

Abdur started NutritionCrown in 2020 to organize nutrition information under one umbrella. โ˜‚๏ธ

He is passionate about empowering people to make well-informed food choices to support their health.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals. ๐Ÿ’ช ๐Ÿฅ—