Evening primrose oil comes from the seeds of the plant and is a direct source of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Gla is needed in the body for the production of chemicals called prostaglandins E1 (PGE1)which contol numerous mechanisms including inflammation, blood pressure, regulation of cholesterol and hormones.
The body can convert other dietary fats into GLA, but lack of essential nutrients, saturated fat and alcohol can interfere with the conversion process leading to a deficiency of prostaglandins.
What it does
- Inflammation: Linoleic acid can be converted into the powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals known as PGE1, using omega 6 in balance with omega 3 is likely to provide the best results.
- Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS):
GLA from evening primrose oil has been shown to improve many symptoms including pre-menstrual headaches, depression, irritability and bloating.
- Menorrhagia (heavy periods):
Fatty acid imbalance may play a significant role in heavy menstruation. High levels of arachidonic acid from animal products such as meat and dairy foods is known to increase the levels of prostaglandin series 2 – the so-called ‘bad’ prostaglandins – that may increase blood flow and prevent blood clotting in those with heavy menstruation. Reducing levels of meat and dairy products and increasing intake of essential fatty acids may be supportive in cases of heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Breast Health:
omega 6 fatty acids in the form of GLA from evening primrose oil may be helpful in reducing the pain and tenderness associated with pre-menstrual breast pain and fibrocystic breasts.
- Hormone Imbalance:
The hormone modulating effects of prostaglandins derived from essential fatty acids makes them particularly important in maintaining optimal hormonal health.
- Diabetic Neuropathy:
GLA may be an important factor contributing to prevention of neuropathy, nerve damage that affects between 60% and 70% of all diabetics.
- Skin Health:
GLA from both borage and evening primrose oil may be one of the most important nutrients for the promotion of skin health. Various skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and dry skin have responded well to additional GLA intake .
|Fibrocystic breast disease||Dry skin||Eczema & dermatitis|
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using evening primrose oil.
If you take blood thinning medication such as warfarin, consult your doctor before taking evening primrose oil.
Some reports suggest that GLA may worsen epilepsy. It is therefore advisable for epileptics to avoid this supplement.