Health Guide

Linoleic acid

What is it?

Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that is used as a supplement for hypertension (high blood pressure), platelet aggregation inhibition (blood thinning), and dermatitis (skin problems).

Other names for linoleic acid include: LA.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you .

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much linoleic acid you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking linoleic acid. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take linoleic acid without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Orlistat (Xenical(R)) (4)


  • Before taking linoleic acid, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • When mothers had higher levels of linoleic acid and lower levels of other essential fatty acids (omega 3), children had a greater incidence of atopic (allergy) disease (6)
  • Diets high in linoleic acid can lead to allergic inflammation (red, itchy, swelling) in children (6)

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.

Other Side Effects:

You may have other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.


1. Erasmus U: Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. Alive Books, Burnaby, BC; 1993.

2. Challen AD, Branch WJ & Cummings JH: The effect of aspirin and linoleic acid on platelet aggregation, platelet fatty acid composition and haemostatis in man. Hum Nutr Clin Nutr 1983; 37(3):197-208.

3. Gans R, Bilo H, Weersink E et al: Fish oil supplementation in patients with stable claudication. Amer J Sur 1990; 160(5):490-495.

4. Vidgren H, Agren J, Valve R et al: The effect of orlistat on the fatty acid composition of serum lipid fractions in obese subjects. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1999; 66:315-22.

5. El Ashry A, Heagerty A, Ollerenshaw J et al: The effect of dietary linoleic acid on blood pressure and erythrocyte sodium transport. J Hum Hypertens 1989; 3(1):9-15.

6. Kankaanpaa P, Sutas Y, Salminen S et al: Dietary fatty acids and allergy. Ann Med 1999; 31(4):282-287.

7. Gimenez-Arnau A, Barranco C, Alberola M et al: Effects of linoleic acid supplements on atopic dermatitis. Rec Adv Prostagland Thrombox Leukotriene Res 1998; 285-289.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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