Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), part of the omega-6 family, is essential to good health. But not all omega-6 fatty acids are the same. Linoleic acid is a form of omega-6 found in cooking oils, but a more desirable form of omega-6 is gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is found in evening primrose, black currant and borage oils. The body converts GLA to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins which control virtually every organ in the body. These compounds especially affect the heart and circulation, skin, immunity, and inflammation.
GLA, especially evening primrose is best known for its role in providing nutritional support for women with PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Research also suggests it supports joint and heart health, as well as healthy skin, hair and nails for both men and women.*
Prostaglandins are so important to good health that the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to three researchers instrumental in the discovery of prostaglandins and their function in the body.
According to a study reported in the Lancet, GLA-rich evening primrose oil was found effective in controlling rheumatoid arthritis in a substantial number of patients. Some 90 percent of patients who took evening primrose oil felt better within two to four months, and more than 80 percent either stopped taking their anti-inflammatory drugs or were able to reduce the amount of drugs they were taking.
In another study, rheumatoid arthritis patients were given 540 mg GLA and 240 mg EPA. After a year, those who received this dosage had reduced their amount of anti-inflammatory medicine significantly.
Researchers recommend 3,000-6,000 mg of evening primrose oil (EPO) per day, which provides about 270-540 mg of GLA.
Copyright 2012, Lindberg Nutrition
Reprinted with permission.