Black Currant Seed Oil from Standard Process might be the answer.
Why? You might ask…
Black Currant Seed Oil is rich in GLA. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center,
“Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid that is found mostly in plant-based oils. Omega-6 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them — you have to get them through food. Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), they help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the reproductive system.”
Black Currant Seed Oil is a superior source of GLA as compared to the more common Evening Primrose oil. Some of the most common uses here in the office are for chronic inflammation, significant dry skin, and PMS or Menopausal symptoms.
Also from the University of Maryland Medical Center:
Some preliminary clinical research suggests that GLA may be useful for the following conditions:
Some studies show that taking gamma linolenic acid (GLA) for 6 months or more may reduce symptoms of nerve pain in people with diabetic neuropathy. People who have good blood sugar control may find GLA more effective than those with poor blood sugar control.
Studies are mixed as to whether evening primrose oil helps reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Some preliminary evidence suggests evening primrose oil may reduce pain, swelling, and morning stiffness; but other studies have found no effect. When using GLA for arthritis symptoms, it may take 1 - 3 months to see any benefit. It is unlikely that evening primrose oil would help stop progression of the disease, so joint damage could still occur.
GLA from evening primrose oil or other sources has a longstanding history of folk use for allergies. And women and children who are prone to allergies appear to have lower levels of GLA in breast milk and blood. However, there is no good scientific evidence that taking GLA helps reduce allergy symptoms. Well-conducted research studies are needed.
If you decide to try GLA for allergies, work with your health care provider to first determine if it is safe for you. Then track your allergy symptoms closely for any signs of improvement or lack of improvement.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Clinical studies suggest that children with ADHD have lower levels of essential fatty acids (EFAs), both omega-6s and omega-3s. EFAs are important to normal brain and behavioral function. Some studies seem to indicate that taking fish oil (containing omega-3 fatty acids) may help reduce ADHD symptoms, though the studies have not been well designed. Studies that used evening primrose oil have found it was no better than placebo at reducing symptoms.
One study found that women with breast cancer who took GLA had a better response to tamoxifen (a drug used to treat estrogen-sensitive breast cancer) than those who took only tamoxifen.
Evidence is mixed as to whether evening primrose oil can help reduce symptoms of eczema. Some early studies found it did, but they were not well designed. Later studies that examined people who took evening primrose oil for 16 to 24 weeks found no improvement in symptoms. If you want to try evening primrose oil, talk to your health care provider about whether it is safe for you to try.
High blood pressure (Hypertension)
There is some preliminary evidence that GLA may help reduce high blood pressure, either alone or in combination with the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in fish oil. In one study, men with borderline high blood pressure who took 6g of blackcurrant oil had a reduction in diastolic blood pressure compared to those who took placebo.
Another study examined people with intermittent claudication, pain in the legs while walking that is caused by blockages in the blood vessels. Those who took GLA combined with EPA had a reduction in systolic blood pressure compared to those who took placebo.
More research is needed to see whether GLA is truly effective for hypertension.
Evening primrose oil has gained popularity as a way to treat hot flashes associated with menopause, but so far studies have not shown that it works. If you want to try evening primrose oil for hot flashes and night sweats, ask your health care provider whether it is safe and right for you.
Some evidence suggests that evening primrose oil may reduce breast pain and tenderness in people with cyclic mastalgia. It may also help reduce symptoms to a lesser extent in people with non-cyclic mastalgia. However, it does not seem to be effective for severe breast pain.
Some studies suggest that people who don’t get enough of some essential fatty acids (particularly EPA and GLA) are more likely to have bone loss than those with normal levels of these fatty acids. In a study of women over 65 with osteoporosis, those who took EPA and GLA supplements had less bone loss over 3 years than those who took placebo. Many of these women also experienced an increase in bone density.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Although most studies have found no effect, some women report relief of PMS symptoms when using GLA. The symptoms that seem to be helped the most are breast tenderness and feelings of depression as well as irritability and swelling and bloating from fluid retention.
GLA is found in the plant seed oils of evening primrose, black currant, borage, and fungal oils. Spirulina (often called blue-green algae) also contains GLA.
Since it is used for so may things by so many people it is part of Standard Processes fundamental supplements.
Just email docaltman [at] gmail.com or call our Standard Process order line 612-BE-GREAT.