Evening Primrose Oil :

Basic Information

Evening Primrose Oil Info

Evening Primrose oil is a natural source of the very important nutrient, gammalinolenic acid (GLA), a member of what chemists call the omega-6 family of fatty acids. Fatty acids are important constituent parts of all fats. The body, for reasons of health, is required to make GLA from linoleic acid, the head of the omega-6 family line. Linoleic acid is found in the common vegetable oils with omega-6 content, such as corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, sesame oil and olive oil.


For many North Americans, the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA is difficult to accomplish because they lack adequate levels of vitamins B6 and B3, as well as magnesium and zinc. Furthermore, the conversion is blocked in proportion to the amount of trans-fatty acids and saturated fat in one's diet, which in North America can be significant. Trans-fatty acids are structurally twisted, so that they cannot fulfill the 3-dimensional structural requirements of fatty acids for biological activity. Trans-fatty acids are created by the extreme high temperatures of standard oil processing and partial hydrogenation. (Trans-fatty acids present serious health risks over the long term). Supplementing one's diet with Evening Primrose oil by-passes the need to rely on the biochemical creation of GLA inside v the body from linoleic acid from processed vegetable oils found on grocery store shelves.



Evening Primrose oil is used to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS), demonstrating meaningful benefits in up to 90% of users, helps to lower risk for or manage arthritis, helps in diabetic neuropathy, improves hair, nails and skin, lowers the risk for stroke and heart attack by lowering platelet stickiness and inappropriate blood clotting. Many other subtle benefits are also realized.



As popular as Evening Primrose oil supplementation is, it needs to be understood in the light of more extensive oil knowledge to avoid potential health problems with long-term over use.

Firstly, the body is able to make the required amount of GLA, and should be encouraged to do so by ensuring that all of the B-vitamins are consumed daily in 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables. If this is not the case, supplementing all of the B-vitamins is advised. Because zinc and magnesium are also important, and may be lacking, 25 to 30mg per day of zinc and 300-500 mg per day of magnesium are recommended. Try to restrict your calories of saturated fats to no more than 10% of your daily calories. Avoid trans-fatty acids by avoiding margarine, vegetable oil shortening, and all hydrogenated oils. Almost without exception, all commercial baked goods contain some degree of trans-fatty acids. Use "cold-pressed" oils for home baking or where appropriate, extra virgin olive oil.

Secondly, due to over-processing, avoid the common grocery store variety of omega-6 oils like corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil etc. as your source of linoleic acid, from which GLA is made in the body. Such grocery store oils are highly processed, robbed of nutrients, and corrupted with some degree of trans-fatty acids. Use extra virgin olive oil as your source of linoleic acid for GLA production. Olive oil also delivers many other health benefits. The extra virgin variety is not heated and is protected by the producers to retain quality as well as its natural nutritional profile.

Thirdly, use cold-pressed flaxseed oil with extra virgin olive oil. Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 alpha-linolenic fatty acid that provides necessary counter-balancing of omega-6 linoleic fatty acid. A recommended ratio of olive oil to flaxseed oil is 3 parts olive oil to 1 part flaxseed oil. Store these mixed oils in the refrigerator, since opened flaxseed oil should be refrigerated. Do not saute with the mixture since flaxseed oil is easily heat damaged. Use the combination for daily salads, spices and vinegar may be added.



If you consume Evening Primrose oil, consume one gram of flaxseed oil for each gram of Evening Primrose oil. Such flaxseed oil can be bought in 1 gram capsules. The health wisdom of the 3 prior bullet points should still be regarded.



Diabetics may find that continuous use of Evening Primrose oil and flaxseed oil gradually reduces their daily insulin requirement, so be aware of any such changes. Discuss with your physician. Use 400iu of natural Vitamin E daily, to protect dietary oil from being inappropriately oxidized inside the body. Oxidized oils cause damage, and in the long term, adversely affect health. Vitamin E, flaxseed and GLA can contribute to blood thinning. If you are taking a pharmaceutical blood thinner or ASA speak to you doctor.


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