Like borage oil, the oil obtained from the seeds of the evening primrose is particularly rich in essential fatty acids, which are basic materials for vital substances in the body. These are the gamma-linolenic acid and its preliminary stage, linoleic acid. As vital (essential) polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids, both must be taken in sufficient amounts with food on a regular basis.
Taking gamma-linolenic acid directly is particularly wise if the body’s own production from linoleic acid has been impacted
The gamma-linolenic acid present in large quantities in evening primrose is 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 evening primrose oil can benefit 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
- a defect of the gamma-6 desaturase.
In orthomolecular medicine, gamma-linolenic acid from evening primrose oil is also used therapeutically.
Heat treatment can destroy valuable ingredients and thus impact the effect of the evening primrose oil. Therefore, the most natural possible, cold-pressed oils should be used for the production of evening primrose 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 evening primrose oil, the other borage oil. With respect to a balanced ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids, fish oils are an important option. While borage oil and evening primrose oil supply omega-6 fatty acid, salmon oil and cold-water fish 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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