Linoleic Acid, an essential fatty acid, minimum ~10-20 g a day. Lowers LDL cholesterol

Considering the health craze of avoiding linoleic acid, and eating extra virgin olive oil:

Linoleic Acid cannot be synthesized by humans, so it is an essential fatty acid.
Replacing saturated fat (an unessential fat) with this lower LDL cholesterol, and by a lot.

Signs of deficiency in children: Dry scaly rash, decreased growth, increased risk of infection, and poor wound healing.

Minimum intake is 11-12 g/day for women, and 14-17 g/day for males. Younger adults need toward the latter end of the range.

1 tablespoon of safflower oil gives 10.1 g of linoleic acid.
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil is 8.9 g of linoleic acid.
1 tablespoon of olive oil is 1.24 g of linoleic acid.

So olive oil is very low in this essential fat.

So to get adequate amount of linoleic acid, around one-two tablespoons of sunflower oil is enough. To get enough α-Linolenic acid, an other essential fatty acid, around 1/5th of a tablespoon of flaxseed oil is enough, some EPA/DHA supplement helps too.


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Too much linoleic acid (LA) in the blood is not good:

CHD, mendelian randomization

EFSA recommends an intake of 4% of calories, WHO 2.5-9%. So around one tablespoon of sunflower oil should be enough for 2000 kcal.

No difference in short term blood markers, nuts and seeds vs. oil.

Walter Willett thinks it’s important to eat both.

So having vegetables and sweet potato (fat soluble vitamins) with some sunflower oil and a little bit of flax oil is probably a good idea. And to eat some nuts and seeds every day.


Although care must be taken in handling and processing of canola oil and other vegetable oils, canola oil is a safe and healthy form of fat that will reduce blood LDL cholesterol levels and heart disease risk compared to carbohydrates or saturated fats such as found in beef tallow or butter. Indeed, in a randomized trial that showed one of the most striking reductions in risk of heart disease, canola oil was used as the primary form of fat. [8] Whether using cold-pressed canola oil provides some small additional benefit is not clear.

Canola oil has 1.3 g of Alpha-linolenic acid per tablespoon.

One population study found that eating a diet rich in alpha-linolenic acid reduced the risk of high blood pressure by about 30%.

I can’t find how much linoleic acid there is in it.

I forgot about this:

11.8% median lifespan increase in worms.

I have started using sunflower oil.

I’m not sure whether supplementing with lots of calories and vitamin E is good for longevity.

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Where else do you get linoleic acid from?

Table from reddit.

So apparently hempseeds and walnuts have plenty of the essential fatty accid linoleic acid, but I would ground these to improve absorption if not also eating some oil. With some oil (sunflower, flax, canola, etc) in diet as Walter Willett thinks it’s important to eat both and there is plenty of evidence these are healthy.

I’m going to try to eat a salad with tomatoes, hempseeds, flaxseed oil, beans, etc, today. I should have some whole grains with it probably as well.

Lol. Linoleic acid from sunflower oil, margarine, and sunflower seeds may have the following effects compared to butter:

:white_check_mark: Decrease liver fat
:white_check_mark: Improvement in blood lipids
:white_check_mark: Improvement in insulin
:white_check_mark: Decrease serum PCSK9
:white_check_mark: Anti-inflammatory, reduction in TNF-R2, IL-1RA

Effects of n-6 PUFAs compared with SFAs on liver fat, lipoproteins, and inflammation in abdominal obesity: a randomized controlled trial (2012)

These were short term changes! Imagine this compounding!