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Evening Primrose Oil Supplements

Evening primrose oil comes from the seeds of the evening primrose plant, and is a rich source of the omega 6 fatty acids gamma-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. Evening primrose oil is a popular supplement for supporting women's health and has beneficial effects on the skin. It's available as capsules or used as a topical skin treatment.

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What is evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil is obtained from the seeds of the evening primrose (Oenothera biennis), a wild plant native to North America, and is rich in the omega 6 fatty acids gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid (LA), which have a beneficial effect on cellular health.

Evening primrose oil is an anti-inflammatory that has been shown to be beneficial for the skin and joints and also to support women's health, particularly during menstruation and menopause. Evening primrose oil can be taken in capsule form or used topically to treat various skin conditions.

What are the benefits of evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil's active ingredient, GLA, is incorporated into cell membranes, helping to maintain their structure. GLA promotes healthy, hydrated skin by maintaining its barrier function.

Some GLA is converted into hormone-like substances called prostaglandins and eicosanoids, which relax blood vessels to improve blood flow to the skin. This can decrease inflammation and improve nerve function, and may help to ease the skin irritation and itching associated with eczema.

Prostaglandins and eicosanoids also participate in metabolism and hormone regulation. This can have a beneficial effect on hormone balance and may help to relieve painful menstruation, reduce the systems of pre-menstrual syndrome (such as mood changes and breast pain and tenderness) and have an overall positive effect on women's wellbeing.

Evening primrose oil may also contribute to the reduction of hot flushes, so can be useful for women during menopause, especially those suffering from dry skin.

Evening primrose oil is predominantly used to support women's health, but it can also be beneficial for men's health due to its effect on the cardiovascular system. LA is important for a healthy vascular system, and GLA promotes the maintenance of vascular elasticity, heart health and normal blood pressure. GLA and LA also help to regulate cholesterol levels.

Types of evening primrose oil supplements

Healthspan's evening primrose oil supplements are suitable for everyone and come in two strengths: 500mg and 1000mg.

Evening primrose oil capsules

Healthspan Evening Primrose Oil 1000mg is our strongest supplement and is available in packs of 90 or 180 capsules, while Evening Primrose Oil 500mg is only available in a pack of 180 capsules. Both supplements also contain vitamin E for added skin support. The small capsules are easy to swallow and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Healthspan's evening primrose oil is extracted by mechanical compression, without the use of heat or solvent, so is very pure and contains a high content of the fatty acids GLA and LA.

Experts advise 1,000mg per day of evening primrose oil as a cosmetic supplement, and 2,000mg per day to support women's health. Up to 6,000mg per day can be taken before the onset of periods.

Should you take evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil is a good choice for women who want to support their skin and overall health during menstruation and menopause. Always look for a high-quality supplement with a high content of omega 6 fatty acids.

Pregnant women and those taking prescription medication should talk to their GP before taking evening primrose oil.

See Healthspan's complete supplement range.