The best-known active constituent in evening primrose oil (EPO) is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an omega‑6 polyunsaturated fatty acid that exerts mild to moderate anti-inflammatory effects in the body. In addition to approximately 10% GLA, EPO also contains oleic acid (11%).
Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Evening primrose oil has mild to moderate anti-inflammatory effects, and has been shown to reduce levels of proinflammatory leukotriene B₄ and increase levels of anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E₁.
Based on its anti-inflammatory effects, EPO has been shown to be beneficial for atopy/eczema and related skin conditions, premenstrual mastalgia and breast cysts, and may also be helpful for rheumatoid arthritis.
Fatty acid profiles (blood samples) have been shown to be abnormal in women with cyclical mastalgia, with increased levels of saturated fats and decreased levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic, dihomo-gamma-linolenic (DGLA), and arachidonic acid. Evening primrose supplementation increased DGLA levels after two and four months of supplementation.
Adults: Take 3 softgels one to four times daily or as directed by your health-care practitioner.
Cautions and warnings:
|Each softgel contains:|
|Certified organic evening primrose (Œnothera biennis) seed oil||500 mg|
|gamma‑Linolenic acid (GLA) (10%)||50 mg|
|Linoleic acid (LA) (68%)||340 mg|
|Other ingredients: Natural vitamin E (from sunflower) in a softgel made of bovine gelatin, glycerin, and purified water.|
Uses of evening primrose oil
Eczema and Skin Conditions
|Oral: 500 to 6000 mg EPO (based on age) × 5 mo||65 children with eczema||24 (96%) patients of EPO group and 8 (32%) patients of placebo group had improvement (p < 0.00001).|
|Topical EPO||10 patients with 5‑Azacitidine (drug) skin reactions||Reduced skin reaction to drug injection.|
|Meta-analysis of oral EPO for eczema: 1000 to 6000 mg/d EPO||9 controlled trials including 311 patients||EPO improved the severity of eczema based on inflammation, dryness, scaliness, pruritus and overall skin involvement compared to baseline and placebo. Odds of improvement were 4.27 based on clinician global symptom rating (p < 0.0001).|
|3000 mg/d × 6 mo||85 women with premenstrual cyclical breast discomfort||Significant reduction compared to baseline (p = 0.005).|
|1000 mg/d × 3 mo (compared to topical NSAIDs)||50 women with moderate to severe breast pain||64% had a clinically significant response after three months, compared to 92% in the NSAID group.|
|6 capsules/d × 1 y (1440 mg GLA)||200 women with confirmed breast cysts||Recurrent cyst formation was non-significantly lower in the first year.|
|6000 mg/d (540 mg GLA) × 6 mo (compared to an equal amount of olive oil)||40 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and upper gastrointestinal lesions due to NSAIDs||3 patients in each group were able to decrease their pain medication dose. There was improvement in morning stiffness in the EPO group, with pain improvement also seen in the olive oil group|