Evening primrose oil benefits have been studied for quite some time, as it has been used to treat a wide variety of health conditions. However, recent evidence shows that there may be better choices for improving overall health.
The oil is extracted from the seeds of Oenothera biennis, a member of the willow family native to North America. Primrose's benefits lie in its gamma linolenic acid (GLA) content, an essential fatty acid important for body health.
The uses for primrose oil include treating the symptoms of PMS, alleviating various skin disorders and easing blood pressure. As it is an anti-inflammatory, it has been used to treat arthritis. There is also some evidence of a link between primrose oil GLA and weight loss.
The GLA in primrose, the main therapeutic ingredient, is what is known as an Omega-6 fatty acid. Along with Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6s are what's known as essential fatty acids, something your body needs and can only get through your diet.
However, research shows that most people have more Omega-6 fatty acids than they need, often too much, and not enough Omega-3 fatty acids, found mostly in fish oils. Therefore, most people do not need to take evening primrose oil, as they get the more than enough through a regular diet.
Although there are many evening primrose oil benefits due to its GLA Omega-6 fatty acid content, it makes more sense to take an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement instead.
As we mention above, most people have excessive amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids in their systems, and not enough Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have incredible immunity boosting qualities, meaning they can help your body fight off illness and disease. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties which may help manage depression, cancer and even slow the aging process. Lastly, Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce cholesterol and strengthen the heart and circulatory systems.
Recent studies have shown that fish oil is the best source for the Omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs. Fish oil, harvested from cold water fish, contains the fatty acids DHA and EPA. Research points to the fact that DHA and EPA have more therapeutic value than ALA found in flax seed oil. Also, DHA and EPA do not have to be converted, as they are already long-chain Omega-3 fats and are easily absorbed in the body.
Summary: Evening primrose oil benefits are numerous, but your body already has more than enough Omega-6 fatty acids from your diet. You are better off taking Omega-3 fatty acids, something most diets are lacking in. The best source of these fatty acids is fish oil.
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