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Borage Seed Oil Research Update(2009/1/15 21:28:59)

Effect of borage oil consumption on fatty acid metabolism, transepidermal water loss and skin parameters in elderly people:
Human skin is not able to biosynthesize gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3omega6) from the precursor linoleic acid (LA), or arachidonic acid (AA) from dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DHGLA). Dietary supplementation with GLA-rich seed oil of borage skips the
step of hepatic 6-desaturation of fatty acids (FA) and, therefore, compensates the lack of these essential FA in conditions with impaired activity of delta 6-desaturase. Twenty-nine healthy elderly people (mean age 68.6 years), received a daily dose of 360 or 720 mg GLA for 2 months, using Borage oil in gelatine capsules (Quintesal 180, manufacturer Galderma Laboratorium GmbH, Freiburg, Germany). The effects of fatty acids derived from ingested borage oil capsules on skin barrier function were assessed by measurement of transepidermal water loss (TEWL). The consumption of borage oil induced a statistically significant improvement of cutaneous barrier function in the elderly people, as reflected in a mean decrease of 10.8% in the transepidermal water loss.
Thirty-four percent of the people noted itch before borage oil consumption and 0% afterwards. Dry skin was claimed to be reduced from 42 to 14%, but no significant alteration of skin hydration was measured. The FA-composition of erythrocyte membrane phospholipids demonstrated an increase of GLA (+70%) and DHGLA (+18%) and a reduction of saturated and monounsaturated FA. There was no significant alteration in nervonic acid or in AA content, but an increase in the DHGLA/AA ratio (+23%). Thus, the consumption of borage oil by elderly people lead to alteration of FA metabolism and improved skin function.

Suppression of leukotriene B4 generation by ex-vivo neutrophils isolated from asthma patients on dietary supplementation with gammalinolenic acid-containing borage oil: possible implication in asthma.
Dietary gammalinolenic acid (GLA), a potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and suppressor of leukotriene B4 (LTB4), can attenuate the clinical course of rheumatoid arthritics, with negligible side effects. Since Zileuton, also an inhibitor of 5-LOX,
attenuates asthma but with an undesirable side effect, we investigated whether dietary GLA would suppress biosynthesis of PMN-LTB4 isolated from asthma patients and attenuate asthma. Twenty-four mild-moderate asthma patients (16-75 years) were randomized to receive either 2.0 g daily GLA (borage oil) or corn oil (placebo) for 12 months. Blood drawn at 3 months intervals was used to prepare sera for fatty acid analysis, PMNs for determining phospholipid fatty acids and for LTB4 generation. Patients were monitored by daily asthma scores, pulmonary function, and exhaled NO. Ingestion of daily GLA (i) increased DGLA (GLA metabolite) in PMN-phospholipids; (ii) increased generation of PMN-15-HETrE (5-LOX metabolite of DGLA). Increased PMN-DGLA/15-HETrE paralleled the decreased PMN generation of proinflammatory LTB4. However, the suppression of PMN-LTB4 did not reveal statistically significant suppression of the asthma scores evaluated. Nonetheless, the study demonstrated dietary fatty acid modulation of endogenous inflammatory mediators without side effects and thus warrant further explorations into the roles of GLA at higher doses, leukotrienes and asthma.

Efficacy and tolerability of borage oil in adults and children with atopic eczema: randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group trial.
To study the efficacy and tolerability of borage oil, which contains a high concentration of gamma linolenic acid, in children and adults with atopic eczema.
CONCLUSION: Gamma linolenic acid is not beneficial in atopic dermatitis.


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