Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose OilEvening Primrose Oil, EPO, is derived from a plant found in North America. This plant grows yellow flowers that bloom in the evening time, which is how the name of this essential fatty acid came to be.  EPO is found in the seeds of the plant and is approximately 25% essential fatty acids.  This means these oils are essential to our health however our bodies cannot make them.  Raw material manufacturers cold press the seeds of the flower to make the oil and then they encapsulate the raw material into a dietary supplement.   Evening Primrose Oil is an Omega-6 essential fatty acid and is a source of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) and LA (linoleic acid).

Evening Primrose Acid may help the following:

  • Promote Healthy Joints
  • Support the symptoms of PMS
  • Balance gastrointestinal health
  • Support a healthy cardiovascular system
  • Nourish the skin
  • Protect the integrity of the cell membrane
  • Balance hormones
  • Provide healthy nerve support
  • Improve brain function
  • Support the health of the central nervous system
  • Aid in the absorption of vitamins K, E and D

Here are 6 areas where research has shown EPO may provide healthy results:

1) Hormone Balance

Essential fatty acids are considered to be the building blocks of hormones.  Hormones are required for most every metabolic process in the body.  The essential fatty acids found in EPO reduce inflammatory prostaglandins, support hormone balance and support endocrine disorders like PCOS which can affect menstrual cycle regularity, fertility and ovulation.

Prostaglandin, hormone like chemicals found in the body, production is modulated by Evening Primrose Oil.  Prostaglandins also play a role in water retention, normal blood clotting and even in labor initiation in the birthing process.  Although there are many kinds of prostaglandins they all play a role in the functioning of a healthy body.  EPO helps to maintain and promote healthy prostaglandin levels.

2) Fertility

Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to increase metabolic function and cervical mucus.  These are two key factors needed for healthy menstruation and ovulation.

3) PMS and Women’s Health

Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to support several symptoms associated with PMS like bloating, water retention, mood swings, acne, breast pain and irritability.  Usually these symptoms are related to imbalances in hormone levels and research shows EPO can moderate these symptoms when taken consistently.  EPO can also help support symptoms associated with menopause making it an essential nutrient for women’s health.

4) Healthy Skin

Evening of Primrose Oil which contains GLA is essential for skin health.  GLA has shown benefits in supporting skin issues related to inflammation as well as hormone imbalances.  The skin which is the body’s largest organ, needs the Omega-6 essential acids found in EPO to improve skin elasticity and to optimize cell membrane structure.  Research has found some benefits for individuals suffering from psoriasis, eczema and generalized skin redness and EPO supplementation.

5) Reducing Inflammation

Evening Primrose Oil is often used to promote balance throughout the inflammatory pathways in the body especially in the joints.  It is been use to support the diseases involving chronic inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and atopic dermatitis.  Research shows EPO can aid in dealing with symptoms associated with RA.

6) Health Hair

Hair loss common in both men and women is often associated with hormonal changes.  DHT, a male hormone, can cause hair follicles to shrink.  This reduces the hair’s lifespan and actually can actually slow down hair growth.  If DHT is high, which can happen to women with thyroid issues, PCOS and other chronic health issues, hair growth slows.  EPO can aid in stopping this hair loss.

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Omega-3 and Arthritis: Study Finds Link Between Fish Consumption and Joint Disorder

Arthritis Omega-3New data finds regular consumption of fish rich in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids may reduce symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Over 170 patients were assessed for Rheumatoid Arthritis scores using the DAS28-CRP scale.  Their intake of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire

Researchers found a dose-response relationship between RA scores and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid intake, increasing Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids reduced the activity of the disease.

More studies are needed.

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Chondroitin Sulfate as Good as Widely Used Anti-Inflammatory Drug for Knee Osteoarthritis

Chondroitin and Knee OsteoarthritisNew research shows a high quality Chondroitin Sulfate supplements may be as effective as a very commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for treating knee osteoarthritis.

Over 600 individuals with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to receive one of three different daily treatments.  Participants were then monitored for six months.  One group was given an 800 mg tablet of Chondroitin Sulfate and a 200 g tablet of a fake version of the anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex.  Group two was given a fake tablet of Chondroitin Sulfate and one Celebrex.  The final group was given a fake tablet of Chondroitin Sulfate and a fake tablet of Celebrex.  Participants were then assessed using a validated scoring system to gauge the overall acceptability of the assigned protocol, joint function and pain levels at 30 days, 91 days and 182 days.

Pain reductions were significantly greater after six months and joint function showed improvements in three months in groups receiving either the Chondroitin Sulfate or the Celebrex.  Although there were no differences in the overall effectiveness of either active treatment (both the Celebrex and the Chondroitin Sulfate treatments were highly rated by participants) joint function improved more quickly in participants taking the Celebrex.

Researchers concluded a higher quality Chondroitin Sulfate should be the first treatment considered for this condition due to the known risks for continued usage of Celebrex and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

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