Health-conscious individuals understand the importance of Omega-3 fats for cardiovascular and brain health. Conversely, Omega-6 fatty acids from corn, safflower and soybean oil sources are known to lead to systemic inflammation and free radical proliferation when consumed in an unbalanced ratio with Omega-3 fats.
Many people avoid Omega-6 food sources in an effort to preserve their health and may be missing out on gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an Omega-6 fat that possesses an impressive set of disease fighting powers. Fortunately you can make the necessary dietary modifications or take an inexpensive supplement to further lower your risk of many inflammatory-mediated diseases.
GLA is Critical to Health as it Neutralizes Damaging Inflammatory Messengers
GLA is a unique type of Omega-6 fatty acid and has been shown to exert a powerful influence on chemical messengers that provoke immune response to stressors in the body. This fat works alone and in concert with the Omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA to combat a wide range of age-related disorders that are promoted by inflammation.
The results of a study published in the journal Inflammation shows that GLA becomes incorporated into immune cell membranes and prevents the genetic regulation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kB). This action suppresses the release of messenger cytokines that initiate the damaging inflammatory cycle in cell nuclei. Further research demonstrated that GLA was able to counteract a critical enzymatic process that deteriorates with age and is responsible for producing an anti-inflammatory biochemical action in the cells.
GLA is shown to be Cardio-Protective
Atherosclerosis is largely the result of chronic, low-grade inflammation that causes degradation of the inner endothelial lining of the coronary arteries. GLA triggers an enzymatic process that reverses the damaging effects of inflammation and reduces the age-related risk of coronary artery disease.
Information published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences provides evidence that GLA reduces the tendency of platelets to form clots within small blood vessels. This effect can dramatically lower the risk of heart attack and stroke by preventing platelet aggregation. The study also showed that GLA when supplemented as evening primrose oil helps lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing healthy HDL cholesterol levels.
GLA Lowers Diabetic Risks
GLA is produced in the body from dietary fats through an enzymatic process. Loss of this function through aging has been shown to lead to insulin resistance and prediabetes. The results of research published in the journal Nutrition shows that supplemented GLA can prevent the tendency toward diabetes that is seen during normal aging. GLA provides powerful antioxidant support that is necessary to combat high blood glucose levels and prevent insulin resistance and diabetic neuropathy.
GLA is frequently overlooked as an essential fat because it is a member of the Omega-6 fat family. Although the fat can be produced in the body from dietary sources (vegetable oils, eggs and poultry), many health minded individuals avoid these foods and supplementation may be necessary. Evening primrose oil, borage oil and black currant oil are inexpensive sources of GLA. Reduce your risk from developing one of the major inflammatory killer diseases with gamma linolenic acid.