NOW® Evening Primrose Oil contains naturally occurring Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). GLA is an Omega-6 fatty acid found in Evening Primrose, Borage and Black Currant seed oils. Although the body can manufacture GLA from dietary linoleic acid, it can be more efficiently utilized for body functions when supplied directly by these dietary sources.
Primrose Oil Quality
By Upasana Abbott, NOW Quality Department
Primrose oil is valued for its gamma–linolenic acid (GLA; 18:3 omega-6) content. GLA is claimed to be effective in reducing inflammation and treating atopic eczema, diabetic neuropathy and certain cancers (McDonald and Fitzpatrick, 1998). GLA rich oils are effective in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, age related diseases and alcoholism (Broadhurst and Winther, 2000).
In our diets, GLA is obtained from the conversion of the dietary precursor linoleic acid via the action of delta-6-desaturase. However, impairment of the delta-6-desaturase activity may result in the functional deficiency of GLA and leads to pathogenesis associated with inflammatory, autoimmune and other diseases (Wu and Meydani, 1996). Supplementation with GLA helps in alleviating some of the symptoms of the above health conditions.
At NOW Foods, Primrose oil is analyzed for its GLA content by performing gas chromatography of methyl esters of fatty acids. We use this method to confirm the identity of Primrose Oil by its unique fatty acid profile and measure the amount of GLA present in it. This is achieved by separating GLA from other fatty acids especially Linoleic and Linolenic acids. Linoleic and Linolenic acids are also present in common oils such as soybean oil, flax oil and walnut oil but GLA is unique to Primrose and some other special oils. The GLA content is accurately measured by using internal standards technique.
All these steps are taken to assure that our customers get what they are buying Primrose oil for: Authentic Primrose Oil and GLA content more than 9%.
Broadhurst, C.L., and Winther, M. (2000). Evening Primrose Oil: pharmacological and clinical applications. In G. Mazza. And B.D. Oomah (Eds.), Herbs, botanicals and teas as functional foods and nutraceuticals (pp 213-264). Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publishing Co., Inc.
Manku, M.S. A comparison of GLC and HPLC methods for determining fatty acid composition of evening primrose and soybean oil. J. Chromatographic Science (1983) 21(8): 367-369 McDonald, B.E., and Fitzpatrick, K. (1998). Designer Vegetable Oils. In G. Mazza (Ed). Functional foods, biochemical and processing aspects (pp. 265-291). Lancaster, PA:Technomic Publishing Co., Inc.
Wu, D. and Meydani, S.N. (1996). ?-Linolenic acid and immune function. In Y.S. Huang, and D.E.Mills (Eds.), ?-Linolenic acid: metabolism and its roles in nutrition and medicine (pp.106-117), Champaign, IL: AOCS Press