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Evening primrose oil (EPO) contains an omega-6 essential fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is believed to be the active ingredient. EPO has been studied in a wide variety of disorders, particularly those affected by metabolic products of essential fatty acids. However, high-quality evidence for its use in most conditions is still lacking.
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Evening primrose oil is a dietary supplement that comes from the seeds of a yellow flower that grows wild in North America. It is rich in vitamin E and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid we typically only get in the foods we eat. GLA helps protect bodily tissues, provide energy, maintain body temperature and insulate nerves. Although evening primrose oil has not been approved by the FDA, studies have found that it has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is used to help treat the aches and pains of arthritis, the numbness and tingling of diabetes, the bloating and cramping associated with PMS and the itching, inflammation and flaking in patients with eczema. It is available in capsules or as oil.
Recommended dosage for adults is 2 to 8 grams a day; children being treated for a skin rash can take 2 to 4 grams daily. Take it with food for maximum absorption. This supplement is not recommended for people with blood disorders and those taking blood thinners.
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