|Evening Primrose Oil|
What does evening primrose oil do?
PGE1 has anti-inflammatory properties and may also act as a blood thinner and blood vessel dilator. The anti-inflammatory properties of EPO have been studied in double-blind research with people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Some, but not all, studies have reported that EPO supplementation provides significant benefit to these people.1
GLA, the primary active ingredient in EPO, has anticancer activity in test tube studies2 and in some,3 but not all,4 animal studies. Injecting GLA into tumors has caused regression of cancer in people in preliminary research.5 Preliminary evidence in people with cancer suggested "marked subjective improvement,"6 though not all studies find GLA helpful.7
EPO has been reported to lower cholesterol levels in people in some,8 but not all,9 research.
EPO supplementation has been shown to improve skin itching, redness, and dryness associated with kidney dialysis.10 11
Linoleic acid, a common fatty acid found in nuts and seeds and most vegetable oils (including EPO), should theoretically be converted to PGE1; but many things can interfere with this conversion, including disease; the aging process; saturated fat; hydrogenated oils; blood sugar problems; and inadequate vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins. Supplements that provide GLA circumvent these conversion problems, leading to more predictable formation of PGE1.12
Where is evening primrose oil found?
Evening primrose oil has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
Who is likely to be deficient of evening primrose oil?
Those with premenstrual syndrome,13 diabetes,14 scleroderma,15 Sjogren’s syndrome,16 tardive dyskinesia,17 eczema,18 and other skin conditions19 can have a metabolic block that interferes with the body’s ability to make GLA. In preliminary research, supplementation with EPO has helped people with these conditions.20 21 22 23 24
There is evidence that alcoholics may be deficient in GLA, and a double-blind study suggested that alcohol withdrawal may be facilitated with EPO supplementation.25 Many people in Western societies may be at least partially GLA-deficient as a result of aging, glucose intolerance, high dietary fat intake, and other problems. People with deficiencies would presumably benefit from supplemental GLA intake from EPO, black currant seed oil, or borage oil.
How much evening primrose oil is usually taken?
Are there any side effects or interactions with evening primrose oil?
Other nutrients are needed by the body, along with EPO, to make PGE1. Consequently, some experts suggest that magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin B6 should be taken along with EPO.
Are there any drug interactions?