Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
What is Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and How Does it Boost health?
Gamma linolenic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid marketed as a therapeutic treatment for autoimmune disorders and inflammation-induced illnesses. It was first isolated from the oil of evening primrose. Today it is also obtained from vegetable oils from borage, black currant seed, and hemp seed. Borage contains the highest GLA levels, and thus is extensively used in the food and supplement industries. GLA is usually available in health food stores and online shops as well as pharmacies in the form of Evening primrose oil or borage oil prefered.
The essential fatty acid linoleic acid can be converted to gamma linolenic acid in the human body. Both of them are classified as omega 6 fatty acid, which are generally known as healthy fats. While omega 6 fatty acids are considered as pro-inflammatory, the scientific community is convinced that GLA is quite the opposite. It is a biological precursor of endogenous mediators of inflammation, but regulates the inflammatory effects of these mediators. Hence, it is believed to be anti-inflammatory.
Health Benefits of GLA
Eicosanoids are a group of chemical compounds largely responsible for the process of inflammation. Almost all cells throughout the human body secrete different types of eicosanoids to help expel foreign materials, induce immune responses, and facilitate wound healing. Also, they are incriminated in the sensation of pain in inflammation-induced disorders, such as gout, and complications of cardiovascular diseases. GLA is one of the fatty acids that regulate pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, improving triglyceride utilization, blood pressure, degenerative illnesses, and cardiovascular diseases.
Gamma linolenic acid has long been linked to the alleviation of hypersensitive reactions and autoimmune disorders. It has been observed to particularly ease symptoms of skin disorders, most notably atopic eczema. In fact, the use of GLA in the treatment of inflammation-related skin conditions is supported by good scientific evidence. There has not been any scientific consensus yet, but most of the published studies have reported very encouraging results. Its medical use in the treatment of dermatological problems is widespread in several countries.
There is general agreement that a diet high in fats contribute to the fast proliferation of cancer cells. Gamma linolenic acid is one of the very few fatty acids that have been repeatedly associated with anticancer research. GLA has shown to prevent the formation of solid lesions as a result of abnormal growth of cells, such as benign tumors, suppress their progression to malignancy, and inhibit the movement of malignant cells to other tissues in the body. The scientific community has not come to a conclusion yet, but research is well underway.
Gamma linolenic acid is unique among all fatty acids because of its medicinal potential. An antiviral compound called lithium gammalinolinate is a lithium salt that contains GLA. Laboratory studies have found out that it has the capability to destroy cells infected by viruses. Clinical trials have used HIV-infected cells and reported promising observations. Researchers are positive that the antiviral properties of GLA can be utilized in the treatment of HIV in the near future.
Whats Stopping you from taking GLA?
Supplementing daily with GLA can boost the health of the healthy as well as the sick, what is stopping you from taking evening primrose oil daily?