GLA (GAMMA LINOLENIC ACID) Overview Information
Gamma linolenic acid is a fatty substance found in various plant seed oils such as borage oil and evening primrose oil. People use it as medicine.
Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is used for conditions that affect the skin including systemic sclerosis, psoriasis, and eczema. It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), polyps in the mouth, high cholesterol and other blood fats, heart disease, metabolic syndrome (Syndrome-X), diabetic nerve pain, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, depression after childbirth, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Some people use it to prevent cancer and to help breast cancer patients respond faster to treatment with the drug tamoxifen.
How does it work?
Gamma linolenic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid, which the body can convert to substances that reduce inflammation and cell growth.
Possibly Effective for:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
- Nerve problems due to diabetes (diabetic neuropathy). Taking gamma linolenic acid for 6 months to 1 year seems to reduce symptoms and prevent nerve damage in people with nerve pain due to type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Gamma linolenic acid seems to work better in people with good blood sugar control.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Allergic skin conditions (eczema).
- High blood pressure.
- Systemic sclerosis, a condition in which skin hardens.
- Breast cancer. Developing research suggests that taking gamma linolenic acid seems to improve the response to tamoxifen in people with breast cancer.
- Oral polyps.
- High cholesterol and other blood fats (hyperlipidemia).
- Heart disease.
- Cancer prevention.
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Hay fever.
- Other conditions.
GLA (GAMMA LINOLENIC ACID) Side Effects & Safety
Gamma linolenic acid appears to be safe for most adults when taken in amounts smaller than 2.8 grams per day for up to a year. It can cause digestive-tract side effects, such as soft stools, diarrhea, belching, and intestinal gas. It can also make blood take longer to clot.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of gamma linolenic acid during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorders: Gamma linolenic acid might slow blood clotting. There is some concern that it might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Surgery: Since gamma linolenic acid might slow blood clotting, there is concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking gamma linolenic acid at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with GAMMA LINOLENIC ACID
Gamma linolenic acid might slow blood clotting. Taking gamma linolenic acid along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Phenothiazines interacts with GAMMA LINOLENIC ACID
Taking gamma linolenic acid with phenothiazines might increase the risk of having a seizure in some people.
Some phenothiazines include chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), and others.
GLA (GAMMA LINOLENIC ACID) Dosing
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For nerve pain due to diabetes: 360 to 480 mg of gamma linolenic acid per day.