Flax is one of the oldest crops in the world. Much of its interest lies in the type of fiber it produces and the high oil content of its seed, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA), in particular, alpha-linolenic acid (51%).
Linolenic (C18:3) and linoleic (C18:2) acids are essential for humans and must be obtained from food fats and oils because the body cannot synthesize them. Likewise, both FA play a critical role in the productive performance and immunity of ruminants. In general, omega-6 FA function as pro-inflammatory precursors whereas omega-3 FA are substrates for the synthesis of resolvins and proteins that reduce inflammation.