Evening Primrose Oil

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PVLady, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Hi, just wanted to share my experience with Evening Primrose Oil. After taking it, within hours I noticed my aching and general feeling of "not feeling good" disappeared.

    It not only helped my aching but digestion. After reading the following article, I see there are apparently even more benefits such as with skin, arthritis, preventing diabetic neuropathy, etc.

    Good thing is, it does not upset your stomach and is inexpensive.

    We are always looking for ways to feel better so I thought you might want to know about this.


    What Is Evening Primrose Oil?

    Evening Primrose Oil is a nutritional supplement extracted from the Evening Primrose plant, a light yellow-flowering plant that opens at dusk, thus earning its nocturnal name. Use of this plant has been documented since before the birth of the United States, dating back to the Native Americans that first lived here.

    This wildflower bloomed all across North America and Europe, where it was used to treat numerous ailments, ranging from stomachaches to hemorrhoids. However, use of the oil – extracted from the seed of the plant – is relatively new.

    How Does Evening Primrose Oil Work?

    Nowadays, it is known that the powerful benefits of the evening primrose plant come from it’s abundance of gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid.

    Although the fats you consume in your diet can be converted into this essential fatty acid (EFA) by the body, there is not an abundance of this EFA in any one food product. That’s where evening primrose oil comes in...

    Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is found in the oils of not only the evening primrose plant, but also in black currant seed oil and borage seed oil.

    In fact, these 2 plants actually contain more GLA than the evening primrose plant – so why do we prefer it? Although it contains less of the essential oil, evening primrose has a much smaller amount of other fatty acids, which actually compete with GLA absorption.

    Thus, although evening primrose oil only provides 7-10% GLA, it actually supplies a more appreciable amount than the other plants.

    The body alters GLA into hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins, which are involved mainly in inflammatory processes. Prostaglandins are produced by the body from other compounds besides GLA and are used to both promote and prevent inflammation.

    However, the prostaglandins that are produced from GLA are involved only in anti-inflammatory processes.

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    Studies of gamma-linolenic acid’s effect on the body have proven a wide range of benefits, such as treating and preventing diabetic neuropathy, a disease affecting the nervous abilities of those suffering from diabetes. In fact, a one-year study of GLA treatment in diabetics showed a decrease in nerve-damage, such as numbness and tingling, as compared to a placebo.

    Another study of GLA use in those suffering from eczema, an extremely itchy skin condition that may develop from the loss of ability to convert fat into GLA, showed a dramatic anti-inflammatory effect after just 3-4 months of use. Those in the study experienced less itching and were able to decrease the use of topical steroid creams, as well as other drugs that were being used to treat the symptoms.

    Ongoing studies are also slowly proving the benefits of gamma-linolenic acids to treat menstrual disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin conditions, such as acne or rosacea – all of which can benefit from the anti-inflammatory actions of this seemingly innocent yellow-flowered plant.

    How Can I Make The Most Out Of Evening Primrose Oil?

    There is no RDA for this supplement, but experts recommend taking 3 daily 1,000 mg doses each of Evening Primrose Oil, which will provide a total of 240 mg of gamma-linolenic acid. To treat the symptoms of Raynaud’s disease, the oil is actually applied topically to the fingers.

    Make sure to take Evening Primrose Oil with a meal to enhance absorption, as with any other supplement. Taking this supplement along with vitamin E may slow the break down of the fatty acids, allowing you to get longer-lasting results.

    Side effects of taking Evening Primrose Oil are extremely rare, but a small percent of those taking the oil have reported bloating and or abdominal upset.