Nature’s Essential Fatty Acids
In our millenia-long passage from hunter-gatherers to supermarket shoppers, our diet has undergone profound changes. Specifically, we no longer consume the unprocessed foods that contain gamma linolenic acid (GLA). It is the intake of GLA that creates the soothing prostaglandins that are so important in promoting the fluidity of cellular membranes for proper nutrient absorption, brain function, skin health and immune system support.
The borage plant (Borago officinalis), also known as starflower, is indigenous to southern Europe, but now well established here in North America. This small, rough-leafed botanical with blue, star-shaped flowers has recently been rediscovered as the world’s finest source of GLA.
What Is GLA?
GLA is an essential fatty acid (EFA). As the name implies, EFAs are essential in our diet. And as our bodies can’t manufacture them, we must get them from food. Unfortunately, their presence in today’s processed American diet is dangerously low.
If we analyze the diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, we find that their primary dietary source of EFAs was wild game, which is much higher in EFAs than today’s domesticated and process-fed animals. Since we evolved on the hunter-gatherer diet for millennia, and the present American diet has only been around a few generations, it makes sense that our bodies will benefit by approximating the positive aspects of our genetically programmed diet requirements as closely as possible.
The problem, however, is in our inability to pick up a mastodon rump roast, or other such wild game, during the commute home. Fortunately, Planetary Formulas Borage Super GLA 300 seed oil is now available.
How does GLA work?
As an essential fatty acid, GLA is a building block the body uses to ultimately produce and store energy, and is used in every cell of the body. EFAs help to make up our cellular membranes and act as “gate-keepers” for our cells. Having healthy cell membranes is crucial, as every cell must have the ability to take in the proper nutrients and keep out metabolic toxins. EFAs maintain the fluidity and permeability of our cellular membranes, promoting nutrient absorption. As the brain contains a high percentage of fatty tissue, EFAs also promote healthy brain function.
One of the most important roles of EFAs is the production of eicosanoids, short-lived regulatory messenger molecules inside our cells. These hormonelike substances regulate a variety of metabolic processes in the body, including blood pressure balance, smooth muscle contraction, proper blood clotting, blood vessel flexibility and immune system regulation.
The Natural Metabolic Shortcut
The precursor to GLA, linoleic acid, is found in a large variety of foods, but converting it to GLA and ultimately to prostaglandins is difficult. There are many roadblocks along the way-including the consumption of alcohol, saturated fats, trans-fatty acids and the normal aging process. So, Borage Super GLA 300 is a good way of taking a metabolic shortcut and ensuring the production of the crucial prostaglandins.
Borage Super GLA 300 is an oil concentrate expressed from the seeds of the uniquely high-yielding borage plant using a specialized, non-toxic, solvent-free, coldpressed extraction technique. Each softgel capsule contains 1,300 mg of borage seed oil, yielding 300 mg of gamma linolenic acid and 446 mg of linoleic acid.
Recommended by acupuncturist, herbalist and author Michael Tierra, L.Ac., Planetary Formulas products blend classic Western, Ayurvedic and Chinese herbal formulations with modern pharmacological research for unsurpassed herbal protection. The result – a natural dietary alternative unsurpassed for dependability and consumer satisfaction.
• Horrobin, D. 1981. The Importance of Gamma- Linolenic Acid and Prostaglandin E1 in Human Nutrition and Medicine. Journal of Holistic MedicineVol. 3, pp. 119, 124,130.
• Horrobin, D. 1983. The Regulation of Prostaglandin Biosynthesis by The Manipulation of Essential Fatty Acid Metabolism. Reviews in Pure and Applied Pharmacological Sciences 4:341.
• Horrobin, D. 1981. Loss of Delta-6-Desaturase Activity as a Key Factor In Aging. Medical Hypotheses 7:1211.
• Leung, A. and Foster, S. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics, 2nd. Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 98, 235.