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Gamma-Linolenic Acid Health Benefits, Properties, and Uses

Gamma-Linolenic Acid

Properties: Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Antirheumatic

What is Gamma-Linolenic Acid?

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a type of omega-6 fatty acid.1 This group of fatty acids are what’s considered “essential,” meaning the body requires them but can’t produce them on their own.1 Instead, omega-6 fatty acids like GLA come from the food we eat. GLA is found in various plant-based oils like borage oil, black currant seed oil, and evening primrose oil, as well as in blue-green algae, also called spirulina.1 It’s also present in human breast milk, which is a significant source of gamma-linolenic acid for infants.2

Gamma-Linolenic Acid Uses and Health Benefits

Gamma-linolenic acid uses are vast. Among gamma-linolenic acid benefits, it’s believed to help reduce inflammation and protect DNA.1 With its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to support the nervous system, it may be a viable supplement for combating facial paralysis.3 GLA even helps treat dandruff.4 Other conditions gamma-linolenic acid benefits include rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer, acne, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and mastalgia.1

Women suffering from endometriosis, a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, may benefit from gamma-linolenic acid supplements.5 This is because GLA regulates prostaglandin compounds, which are a group of compounds that promote healing and regulate pain.5 Other gamma-linolenic acid uses include for:

  • Diabetic Neuropathy - GLA may reduce nerve pain when taken in patients with good blood sugar control for six months or more.
  • Eczema (Dermatitis) - It’s suggested that GLA may help reduce eczema symptoms.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Research shows that children with ADHD may have lower fatty acid levels in their bodies, and it’s believed that GLA may be able to help.
  • Menopause Symptoms - Evening primrose oil, containing GLA, could help in reducing hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
  • Allergy (Allergies) - Individuals with allergies tend to show lower levels of GLA in their blood, so it’s suggested that these supplements can reduce allergy symptoms.

Gamma-Linolenic Acid Side Effects and Precautions

Gamma-linolenic acid side effects may include increased inflammation if taken in doses higher than 3,000 mg per day. Other possible gamma-linolenic acid side effects include abdominal pain, loose stool, headache, and nausea. GLA supplements may interact with blood-thinning medications, chemotherapy for cancer, immune-suppressing drugs like Cyclosporine, and phenothiazines used for treating schizophrenia. Do not take GLA supplements if you have a seizure disorder, and avoid evening primrose oil at least two weeks before having surgery that requires anesthesia.

 

References

  1. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/gammalinolenic-acid
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17168669
  3. http://www.herbs2000.com/disorders/facial_paralysis.htm
  4. http://www.herbs2000.com/disorders/dandruff.htm
  5. http://www.herbs2000.com/disorders/endometriosis.htm

 

CuresDecoded worldwide community recommends Gamma-Linolenic Acid for:

Menopause Symptoms Effective
Breast Cancer Effective

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