Like evening primrose oil, borage oil is particularly rich in gamma-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. As essential polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids, sufficient amounts of both must be taken regularly with food. Taking gamma-linolenic acid directly is particularly wise if the body’s own production from linoleic acid has been impacted.
The herb of the borage plant contains small amounts of liver-damaging pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the regular consumption of which is not recommended. In contrast, dietary supplements with borage oil are harmless because they are extracted from the pyrrolizidine seeds through cold pressing.
The omega-6 fatty acids present in large quantities in borage oil are converted into various messenger substances by the body. They play a role among other things
• in hormonal regulation in women and men
• in the inhibition of inflammation
• in the skin.
Thus, taking sufficient amounts of borage oil can beneficially impact inflammatory processes, particularly of the skin as well.
Under certain circumstances, the demand for gamma-linolenic acid will increase. Accordingly, we recommend taking increased amounts of this omega-6 fatty acid
- during pregnancy, while breastfeeding
- in growth phases
- with an inclination to allergies
- various skin diseases, e.g. neurodermatitis and psoriasis
- with a defect of the gamma-6 desaturase.
If breastfeeding mothers do not have sufficient amounts of their own gamma-linolenic acid, they can alternatively take these through cold-pressed borage seed, black cumin, evening primrose or hempseed oil. If the mother is sufficiently supplied, this is transferred to the baby through the breast milk. In orthomolecular medicine, gamma-linolenic acid from borage oil is also used therapeutically.
Borage oil is very sensitive to heat. Heat treatment can destroy valuable ingredients and thus impact the effect of the borage oil. Therefore, the most natural possible, cold-pressed oils should be used for the production of borage oil capsules.
Unsaturated fatty acids and the substances produced from them perform partially opposing functions. Thus, it is essential to be mindful of a balanced ratio of various fatty acids.
Because the biological burdens of humans are different, the response to various combinations of fatty acids is also individually different. The one might need borage oil, the other evening primrose oil. With respect to a balanced ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids, fish oils are an important source. While borage oil and evening primrose oil supply omega-6 fatty acid, salmon oil and cold-water fish oils provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids.
- DGE Referenzwerte für die Nährstoffzufuhr, 1st Edition, 3rd completely reviewed and revised reprint 2008.
- Gröber, Uwe: Orthomolekulare Medizin, 3rd Edition 2008
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