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Evening Primrose Oil

Also indexed as:Oenothera biennis, Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil: Main Image

How to Use It

Although many people may have inadequate levels of GLA, the optimal intake for this nutrient remains unknown. Researchers often use 3,000-6,000 mg of EPO per day, which provides approximately 270-540 mg of GLA.

Where to Find It

EPO is found primarily in supplements. Its presumed active ingredient, GLA, can also be found in black currant seed oil and borage oil supplements. However, it is not known whether the effects of these three oils in the body are the same.

Possible Deficiencies

Those with premenstrual syndrome,71diabetes,72 scleroderma,73 Sjogren's syndrome,74tardive dyskinesia,75eczema,76 and other skin conditions77 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.78, 79, 80, 81, 82

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.83 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.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.