Fat is not a four-letter word! You need certain fats called essential fatty acids (EFAs), which must be sup-plied by your diet. EFAs regulate many biological functions, including the manu-facture of connective tissue, cellular walls, and hormones .
After meeting your daily protein and carbohydrate requirements, be sure to in-clude a certain amount of fat in your diet. Good sources are safflower oil, sunflower oil, linseed oil, flaxseed oil – and evening primrose oil in supplemental form. These dietary fats provide essential fatty acids and help the body absorb fat-soluble vi-tamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Evening primrose oil, in particular has specific benefits for athletes, bodybuilders – really, anyone who is interested in im-proving personal health and fitness. Evening primrose oil comes from a plant that grows wild along roadsides. It is so named because its yellow flowers resemble in color real primroses, and these flowers open only in the evening.From this oil, your body can directly obtain GLA, which stands for gamma-lin-olenic acid. GLA is ultimately converted into the prostaglandin E1 series, a group of beneficial chemicals that helps reduce inflammation, regulates blood clotting, de-creases cholesterol levels, and lowers high blood pressure, among other functions. Thus, evening primrose oil is indicated for various diseases or conditions in which prostaglandins are associated, and these include premenstrual syndrome (PMS); heart disease; diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that is a complication of diabetes; and arthritis.Here’s a more detailed rundown of what evening primrose oil can do for you:Joint FlexibilityIf your joints are creaky and achy, don’t despair. Evening primrose oil to the res-cue .
A growing number of medical experts and scientists now believe that taking GLA-rich oils such as evening primrose oil can effectively fight the inflammation – the major cause of swollen, painful joints. As explained above, GLA is a building block of a beneficial type of prostaglan-din, which exerts an anti-inflammatory ef-fect on the body.(1) Thus, supplementing with GLA increases production of these prostaglandins and may help control the pain and inflammation associated with joint problems and arthritis.ObesityEvening primrose oil may be fat fighter too. GLA, one of its beneficial constitu-ents, has been researched for its effect on weight loss in both animals and humans. In studies with rats, GLA reduced body fat content. As for humans, some scientists believe that people with GLA deficiencies tend to produce more fat in their bodies. Supple-menting with evening primrose oil has helped them lose weight. (2)Research shows that the supplement works best if you are more than 10 percent above your ideal weight.
And, in some people, evening primrose oil promotes weight loss without reducing caloric intake. It is also believed to help rev up the metabolism, so that you burn more calories. More information on these effects are needed, however. (3)Evening primrose oil may help re-duce fluid retention, medically known as “edema.” (4) When you retain water, you bloat out, giving the appearance of being overweight. Ridding the body of excess water can make you look leaner. One way to do this is by supplementing with evening primrose oil, which can help your body regulate water more normally and prevent fluid retention. Immune BoosterAmong oilseeds, evening primrose oil has demonstrated some of the most pow-erful antioxidant activity. In one study, evening primrose oil was able to destroy the hydroxyl radical, a form of hydrogen peroxide. Once generated, this nasty free radical attacks whatever is next to it, set-ting off a dangerous chain reaction that generates many more free radicals. The result is cellular damage. In the same study, evening primrose reduced the for-mation of “superoxide” free radicals — a type of free radical that is particularly harmful to heart cells. (5)Heart HealthTaking evening primrose oil may be one more defense against high choles-terol.
In a small study of 10 patients with high cholesterol, supplementation with 3.6 grams a day of evening primrose oil significantly reduced artery-clogging LDL cholesterol – by 9 percent. In addi-tion, animal experiments show that eve-ning primrose oil reduces plaque, fatty deposits that build up in arteries, clog their passageways, and constrict blood flow. (6)Using Parrillo Evening Primrose Oil 1000™Our supplement contains 1000 mg of evening primrose oil. This includes 100 mg of GLA, 760 mg of linoleic acid (which has numerous health benefits of its own), and 30 IU of vitamin E, an im-portant antioxidant vitamin. The amount of GLA in this supplement is superior to many formulations on the market.We recommend that you take one to three capsules daily, for general well-be-ing. If you’re treating breast pain, you may want to up the dosage to 6 grams daily. There are virtually no side effects from supplementing with this friendly fat. Other Conditions Treatable by Eve-ning Primrose Oil• Menstrual symptoms (premenstrual syn drome, fluid retention, headaches and backaches, skin problems, food cravings, depression, tension, irritability, fatigue, weeping, tantrums, and lack of concentra-tion . • Breast pain (mastalgia)• Diabetic nerve disease• Eczema and dry skin conditions• Migraine headaches
1. Murray, M.T. 1996. Encyclopedia of nutritional supplements. Rocklin, Califor-nia: Prima Publishing; Craig, W.J. 1999. Health-promoting properties of common herbs. American Journal of Clinical Nutri-tion 70: 491S-499S .
2. Greenwood-Robinson, M. Good Fat vs. Bad Fat. New York: Berkley Books, 2002 .
3. Greenwood-Robinson, M. Good Fat vs. Bad Fat. New York: Berkley Books, 2002 .
4. Hardy, M.L. 2000. Herbs of special interest to women. Journal of the Ameri-can Pharmaceutical Association 40: 234-242 .
5. Darlington, L.G., et al. 2001. Antioxi-dants and fatty acids in the amelioration of rheumatoid arthritis and related disorders . British Journal of Nutrition 85: 251-269.Greenwood-Robinson, M. Good Fat vs. Bad Fat. New York: Berkley Books, 2002 .