One supplement which has gotten attention from Dr. Oz lately as a potential fat buster and weight loss aid is gamma-linolenic acid. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid which stimulates the brown fat in the body and trigger utilization of white fat for energy. GLA also raises serotonin levels in the brain, creating a feeling of satiety sooner. There have been numerous studies to suggest that GLA can be an effective weight loss aid. Another nifty benefit of GLA is the body’s conversion of it into dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid, which is a precursor of the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E1.
The Dr. Oz website recommends taking 1,000 milligrams of GLA before every meal for one week to mobilize fat stores for energy, while other sites recommend anywhere from 500 to 2,000 milligrams daily split into several doses. However, many studies state that the effects of GLA can only be seen after prolonged supplementation. GLA derived from black currant seed oil is a bit safer to take since the GLA derived from evening primrose oil may have estrogenic activity in some individuals.
GLA can also help with symptoms of PMS, rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure, and it can be excellent for the skin and hair. I am actually quite intrigued with the benefits for skin since I work extensively in the field of aesthetic dermatology and am always searching for skin cures. Of course this means that there is a chance that I will give GLA supplementation a try so that I can report my individual findings in a later blog post.
Make sure that if you decide to supplement with GLA to take this supplement with food to enhance absorption. Also make sure to allow several weeks for the effects to manifest. Lastly, bear in mind that this supplement tends to be very unstable and can turn rancid, so store in a cool, dry, dark place.