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Gamma Linoleic Acid
The Evening Primrose is a very unique plant. It reaches a height of eight feet tall and its flowers open only in the evening, fluorescing under the light of the moon. Its healing properties allow it to help strengthen the heart and the circulatory system.
The history of the use of evening primrose is not as extensive as many herbal remedies. The Coahuilla Indians gathered leaves and caterpillars from it for food. Early English settlers of the Americas took evening primrose back to England where it was cultivated for its nut-flavored root.
It is modern scientific research which has brought the health benefits of this plant to light. It has been discovered that oil derived from the seeds of this plant is helpful in a wide range of health problems, including: obesity, premenstrual syndrome, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, brittle nails, eczema, heart disease, high blood pressure, alcoholism and schizophrenia.
The key to effectiveness of evening primrose oil is the presence of gamma linoleic acid (GLA). GLA is an essential fatty acid. Essential fatty acids, like vitamins and some amino acids are substances that the body needs to function properly, but that it cannot produce. This means that GLA must come from dietary sources.
But what is the function of GLA? GLA is the parent compound to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. But it is even more important in the production of substances known as prostaglandins. Our bodies take linoleic acid (abundant in vegetables) and change it into G LA, then into diho- mogamma-linoleic acid to arachadonic acid. The arachadonic acid is then used to produce prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that regulate blood pressure and clotting.
By now, you may be wondering, "if I eat vegetables that supply linoleic acid, why do I need a supplement of GLA?" Our diet, high in saturated fats and processed vegetable oils, inhibits the body's ability to change linoleic acid to GLA. This means that by supplementing the diet with GLA, the body can skip a step and more efficiently produce the prostaglandins.
As it turns out, evening primrose is the only significant dietary source of GLA besides black currant oil and breast milk. This is why evening primrose oil can be so important to relieving the conditions already mentioned.
One of the overall effects of evening primrose oil is that it works as an anticoagulant to lower blood pressure and strengthens the heart.
Vitamin E: Evening primrose oil soft gels also contain d-alpha tocopherol, a form of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a nutrient that protects the heart and lowers cholesterol. It does this by preventing LDL cholesterol from reacting with oxygen. This is important because oxidized LDL cholesterol is what deposits itself in the arteries leading to atherosclerosis. Vitamin E is also a strong antioxidant.
The generally recommended dosage of evening primrose oil is one soft gel capsule once daily with a meal. For serious immune problems people often use two or three times that amount.
Evening Primrose (90 softgel capsules)