What You Should Know
Borage oil is processed by pressing the seeds of the borage plant. Borage grows wild throughout Europe and North America and is commonly found by roadsides. Borage oil contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is a fatty acid that the body converts to prostaglandin, a substance that acts like a hormone. Prostaglandin acts on the body as an anti-inflammatory and may help dilate blood vessels.
GLA is found in many nuts and seeds, including olives, evening primrose, and in many vegetable oils. Borage oil, however, has the highest levels of GLA of any food- in the range of 20-25%.
Borage oil is also used as an aid to weight loss. One theory regarding what causes obesity believes that it is caused by inflammation in the body. Borage oil may be able to reduce overall inflammation and therefore might help weight loss. GLA’s other health properties are more widely documented than its role in dieting.
Borage oil comes most often in gel caps and is widely available in pharmacies and nutritional supplement stores. Those who have allergies and sensitivities should make sure that the supplement they choose is free from wheat, milk, yeast, or other common allergens. The borage seed itself does contain a substance that is toxic to the liver in large doses but the oil does not appear to contain this substance. Borage oil can cause minor side-effects with regular use such as heartburn, gas, nausea, and headaches but, many users report that these symptoms subside after a while when the body has adjusted to the borage oil.
- Good sources of gamma linolenic acid.
- Widely available through stores and online sources.
- Has not been clinically proven at helping with weight loss.
- Can cause minor side-effects with regular usage.
Borage oil has great promise as an anti-inflammatory and, with more research, may become a standard treatment for inflammatory conditions that do not respond well to treatment. However, there appears to be no clinical studies supporting borage oil’s effectiveness in weight loss. Fortunately, there are proven weight loss aids on the market that include effective ingredients.