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Borage Oil

Oil from fish contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); both are omega-3 fatty acids.

Uses

Rheumatoid Arthritis
1.1 to 2.8 grams of GLA daily
Oils containing the omega-6 fatty acid gamma linolenic acid, such as borage oil, have been reported to be effective in treating people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Obesity
5 grams per day (providing 890 mg per day of gamma-linolenic acid)
In one study, supplementing with borage oil helped reduce the amount of weight regained by obese people who had previously shed pounds.

Where to Find It
Borage oil is found primarily in supplements. Its presumed active ingredient, GLA, can also be found in black currant seed oil and evening primrose oil supplements. However, it is not known whether the effects of these three oils in the body are the same.

How to Use It
For the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the amounts of GLA from borage oil used in successful double-blind trials were 1.4 to 2.8 grams daily for at least two months. Although 360 mg of GLA daily from borage oil has been used to treat people with eczema, controlled research has not supported its use for this condition. Topically, 0.5 ml of borage oil may be applied to areas of seborrhea daily for two weeks, and then three times a week until the condition is stable.

Possible Deficiencies
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, though the exact incidence of deficiency remains unknown. People with deficiencies may benefit from supplemental GLA intake from borage oil, black currant seed oil, or evening primrose oil.

Those with premenstrual syndrome, diabetes, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, eczema, and other skin conditions may have a metabolic block that interferes with the body’s ability to make GLA. However, most clinical trials supplementing GLA for these conditions have used evening primrose oil, and not borage oil.

Side Effects
Borage seeds contain small amounts of liver toxins called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). However, testing has not demonstrated the presence of these alkaloids in the seed oil. Most commercially available borage seed oil is, therefore, likely to be PA-free and presents no risk of PA toxicity. Minor side effects from borage oil use can include bloating, nausea, indigestion, and headache.

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known interactions with this supplement.


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