Gamolenic acid, also called "gamma-linolenic acid," is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that is the active ingredient in evening primrose oil and starflower oil. As a fatty acid, gamolenic acid has many potential health benefits and are essential in the normal production of chemicals and hormones throughout your body. Gamolenic acid can be isolated and placed in capsule for under the Efamast, Epogam, Gamolin and Gamophase brand names, and ingested orally for its potential health effects. It can also be found in evening primrose oil capsules, which are sold as dietary supplements for their potential health benefits. Talk with your doctor before using any supplement or drug containing gamolenic acid.
Gamolenic acid may be an effective treatment for atopic eczema, according to the National Library of Medicine, which is the most common type of chronic skin condition, according to Pub Med Health. Atopic eczema causes blisters on your skin with oozing and crusting, ear discharge or bleeding, raw areas of your skin, skin coloring changes, inflammation and redness, and thickened or leather-like areas across your skin.
Gamolenic acid capsules may be used as an effective treatment for breast pain in women associated with premenstrual syndrome. According to a 1991 study published in the "Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin," gamolenic acid is available by prescription under the brand name Efamast, for the specific treatment of breast pain in women. The gamolenic acid derived from evening primrose oil is placed into 40 mg capsules and, when ingested, increases plasma and red blood cell concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids, which decreases the sensitivity of breast cells.
According to Drugs.com, gamolenic acid has been evaluated in clinical studies for its potential to treat various forms of arthritis. Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects your body's joints, causing them to become stiff and painful and may affect your mobility. Gamolenic acid found in evening primrose oil, borage seed oil and black currant seed oil, may relieve pain, stiffness, and tenderness in the joints of individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Although there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, there is some evidence that suggests supplementation with gamolenic acid in the form of evening primrose oil can reduce some of the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis, according to TreatmentSclerosis.com. Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the protective coating around your body's nerves degenerates, causing permanent nerve damage. However, more research needs to be conducted on the role that gamolenic acid plays with neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
- TreatBacteria.com: Gamolenic Acid; July 2011
- Pub Med Health: Atopic Eczema
- National Library of Medicine: Evening Primrose Oil
- "Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin"; Gamolenic Acid (Efamast) - For Benign Breast Pain; 1991
- Drugs.com: Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Evening Primrose Oil