gamma-linolenic acid, GLA
Borage oil consists primarily of the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Gamma-linolenic acid is a precursor of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are found in all tissues of the body and act as local hormones.
Medically Valid Uses:
Borage oil currently has no documented valid medical uses.
Please note that this section reports on claims that have NOT yet been substantiated through scientific studies.
Borage oil has also been used in association with fibrocystic breast disease, diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and Raynaud's phenomenon.
Sources differ widely on the recommended dosage for borage oil, partly because of the many conditions it supposedly benefits. Follow packaging instructions for correct dose.
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should consult a physician before taking any dietary supplements.
Side Effects, Toxicity and Interactions:
Gamma-linolenic acid is considered relatively safe. Questions have arisen about the toxicity of borage oil. Evening primrose oil seems to be a safer source of GLA.
Both borage oil and evening primrose oil reportedly lower the seizure threshold and should not be taken by individuals requiring anticonvulsant medication.
GLA is referred to as a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) belonging to a group of fatty acids called omega-6 or n-6* fatty acids.
The combined essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) should make up 1 to 2 percent of the total caloric intake. The recommended ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is approximately 1:1 or 1:2. Because of the increased use of vegetable oil in the United States, most American diets are closer to 1:20 to 1:30.
Borage oil contains approximately 18 to 26 percent GLA. Other plant oils also contain GLA: Evening primrose contains between 7 to 10 percent, and black currant oil contains 15 to 20 percent.
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