What is omega-6 DGLA?
Omega-6 DGLA (Dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid) is a metabolite of GLA (Gamma-linolenic Acid). GLA residing in the cell membrane is a precursor to both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory eicosonoids in the cell's immediate locale (i.e. inflammatory prostaglandin PGE2 and leukotriene LT-4 series via omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) and the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin series PGE1. See EFA conversion chart
Effects of the anti-inflammatory PGE1:
• Reduce inflammation and pain
• Reduce blood pressure
• Relax muscles /dilate blood vessels / control uterine contractions
• Improve immune response
• Reduce blood stickiness
• Regulate nerve impulses, body temperature and fluid levels
Omega-6 DGLA is only directly available in mother's milk
For those of us who are no longer obtaining milk from our mothers, DGLA can be obtained by supplementing with GLA fatty acids. These are found in quantity in evening primrose, borage and blackcurrant oils; GLA is easily converted to DGLA in the body;
Omega-6 GLA is not found in high levels in the diet and some people can not efficiently convert Omega-6 LA (obtained from such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) to derivative DGLA in the step requiring the hepatic Δ6D enzyme. GLA supplementation thus compensates for the lack of GLA in those with impaired Δ6D activity,
GLA supplementation has been shown to have a favorable effect on the DGLA:AA ratio. AA increase is smaller compared to increase in DGLA, meaning less of the inflammatory PGE2 and LT-4 eicosanoids and more of the anti-inflammatory PGE1.
Omega-6 GLA works synergistically with Omega-3
Omega-6 GLA supplementation should not be given until Omega-3 deficiency has been dealt with. Until Omega-3 levels have been increased, supplementing GLA will make the imbalance worse in a probably already oversupplied Omega-6 diet. If cancer is present, this is especially important, because Omega-6 enhances tumor growth, and Omega-3 suppresses growth.
GLA is best supplemented together with omega-3. Co-supplementation of GLA with EPA lowers blood AA levels. It does this by blocking the Î”5D enzyme; also lowers neutrophil leukotriene synthesis. Barham, 2000
In most cases, Omega-3 supplementation has shown equally effective to supplementing Omega-6
Results have been comparable between Omega-3 and Omega-6 supplementation for many problems and diseases in extensive, controlled, hospital /clinic, double-blind studies world-wide. This according to Dr. Udo Erasmus Ph.D, renowned expert on dietary fats and author of “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill”.
There are two exceptions where GLA supplementation gives better relief than omega-3:
• Premenstrual breast pain and premenstrual syndrome symptoms. i.e. bloating, irritability, depression;
• Sjogren's syndrome (drying/atrophy of tear/salivary glands);
Some applications of borage and evening primrose oils
• 20% borage oil reverses hyperproliferation (skin cells regenerate too fast) better than EPO. Increases ceramide synthesis in guinea pigs
• Borage oil NOT shown effective for eczema
• Topical application of borage oil reduces symptoms of atopic dermatitis in double-blind placebo-controlled study. Kanehara, 2007
Reports that Borage seed oil contains toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been found to be false. These problematic compounds have limited the use of comfrey leaves, however, they are only present in the leaves and flowers (not the seeds) of the borage plant, and in much lower amounts than in comfrey.
Shelf life ~6 months. Courtesy of the oil's inherent 400 ppm tocopherols combined with the anti-oxidant ferulic acid;
Evening Primrose Oil (EPO)
Problems where EPO has been found particularly helpful. Results seen after 3-4 months
• Atopic eczema. Use 6--8 g EPO/day; may not be effective topically
• Cyclic and non-cyclic mastalgia (breast pain) - 3-4g EPO/day
• PMS, psoriasis, M.S.
• Hypercholesterolemia. 2-3 g GLA/day
• Rheumatoid arthritis. 3g GLA /day
• Raynaud's phenomenon
• Diabetic neuropathy
|Problem-specific Omega-6 Supplementation Doses:|
|Generally 600 mg. Omega-6 GLA / day up to max 3g / day|
|Oils must be organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined|
|Oil||% GLA||Dose size|
|Evening Primrose Oil (EPO)||~9% GLA||1 tsp. provides 460mg GLA/ day|
|Borage Oil (BO)||~20-25% GLA||1000 mg capsule provides ~ 230mg GLA ¼ tsp. provides ~ 280mg GLA|
|Blackcurrant Seed Oil (BSO)
Unrefined BSO is hard to find
|~17% GLA||1000 mg capsule provides ~ 200mg GLA.|
WARNING: Drug interaction: Omega-6 supplementation may increase the risk of temporal lobe epilepsy in schizophrenic patients taking phenothiazine epileptogenic drugs.
For specific details on how to supplement and obtain EFAs, including Omega-6 DGLA:
Barham JB, Edens MB, Fonteh AN, Johnson MM, Easter L, Chilton FH (August 2000). "Addition of eicosapentaenoic acid to gamma-linolenic acid-supplemented diets prevents serum arachidonic acid accumulation in humans". J. Nutr. 130 (8): 1925-31. PubMed
Chronic low-level inflammation (CLII) involved in almost all health problems
"The medical kit of the future"
General electrotherapy health benefits. Used systemically and/or locally at specific problem areas of the body, its effective application has many benefits:
|Detoxification||Wellness / Healthy aging||Pain relief|
|Relief from insomnia||Immune system restoral||Anti-Inflammatory|
|Maximizes cellular energy production||Accelerated tissue /bone
|Muscle relaxation / rehabilitation||Increased blood oxygen
There are several reasonably affordable electrotherapy devices available for personal use. The following electrotherapies are those that have received a significant amount of positive feedback:
|Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy|
|Near Infrared (NIR) class 4 laser therapy|
Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) applies specific frequency patterns to the head area, with the following benefits:
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|Substance abuse withdrawal||Relieves insomnia||Relieve stress / anxiety|