hmm.. just found an article on CNN web and thats what they say: "There's dramatic ancestry-based variation in our ability to transform ALA into EPA or DHA, according to Chilton. African-Americans transform ALA into EPA or DHA very well, Europeans not so much, and Native Americans not at all, with variability among individuals within each group." ...so how the flaxseed oil supplementation works for us Europeans? Confused:(
Let's not discount ALA (or LA) yet ...
True, humans don't do a great job of synthesizing ALA into DHA and EPA, but ALA plays its own role in controlling inflammation. It's also the primary component of the Budwig protocol (for cancer), which I'm neither condoning nor condemning. I'm mentioning here simply for all of the flaxseed oil (high ALA content) references found in this link from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/budwig-diet-01
The first study mentioned below details an in vivo study that indicates LA inhibits T cell proliferation and activation, seemingly by upping cAMP production in MS patients. Not a cure by any means, but a helpful treatment it seems. So I wouldn't recommend writing it off our shopping lists because humans have varying abilities to synthesize it into DHA/EPA.
An article I stumbled on that references this study and many others is located here:
I can't vouch for the author's own interpretation of the studies, but am merely providing it as a single source for lots of LA-related scientific work that's available. Please look at the studies yourself (the (R) links in the article) and reach your own conclusions. Don't just take the author's word for it.