GLA is a type of Omega-6 fatty acid that is ideal for those who want to lose weight and reduce inflammation. Many already know about the broad spectrum benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids (think EPA/DHA). Problem is many are only looking at the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids (think Salmon, flax seeds or cod liver). And that most are getting far too much Omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, as well as poultry and eggs.
Unlike other Omega-6 fatty acids, this one is different. As not all Omega-6 fatty acids behave alike. Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid tend to promote inflammation. GLA, on the other hand, may actually reduce inflammation. The body converts much of the GLA taken in as a supplement to a substance called Dihomo gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) that fights inflammation. Having enough of certain nutrients in the body (magnesium, zinc, and vitamins C, B3, and B6) helps to promote the conversion of GLA to DGLA. Some studies even suggest that GLA protects our DNA.
GLA has an important set of disease-fighting potential necessary for human health. Research into GLA has shown that this nutrient has the ability to combat chronic inflammation, eczema, dermatitis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity and even cancer.
Unlike other healthy lipids such as coconut oil and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), GLA gets little attention. The uptake of unhealthy fats in the modern diet contributes significantly to the development of a wide variety of inflammatory conditions. Many of the chronic diseases of today, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s have an inflammatory component.
GLA is available in many vegetable based oils (think evening primrose oil, borage seed oil, and black currant seed oil). GLA is essential for maintaining our brain function, metabolism skeletal and reproductive health. It’s also important for stimulating skin and hair growth. The body also turns GLA into a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins which control virtually every organ in the body. These compounds primarily concern the heart, blood circulation, skin, immunity, and inflammation.
Like all supplements, you choose to start consuming for your health, it is always best to consult your doctor first.