SUMMARY ARTICLE: Evening Primrose Oil Versus Borage Oil
Udo Erasmus, PhD
Why do I use evening primrose oil rather than
borage oil as a source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in Udo's Choice
Oil Blend? For me, evening primrose oil is preferable. Evening
primrose contains far more omega-6 essential fatty acids and other
beneficial minor ingredients that play an important role in fat
metabolism, especially that of GLA.
Although both evening primrose and borage oil
improve some conditions such as high blood pressure, some research
shows that evening primrose works better than borage at
lowering cardiovascular risk factors, increasing blood supply to
tissues, reversing diabetic nerve damage, and reducing blood clot
formation and inflammation pain and swelling.
Evening primrose oil has no known potentially
toxic effects. Borage oil, on the other hand, might contain traces
of toxins-called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs)-always present in
borage plants and seeds. These toxic alkaloids accumulate in body
tissues over time and can result in cancer, damage to the liver,
kidney, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system, and other
PAs can be largely removed by processing, but
the processing damages fatty acid molecules. In other words, unrefined
borage oil may contain one kind of toxin, while refined borage
oil contains other kinds of toxins.
I take the cautions regarding borage oil seriously.
There are unanswered questions regarding its safety. No one knows
the cumulative effects of long-term use. This is why I prefer to
err on the side of caution and don't use either unrefined or refined
borage oil in any of my products. Instead, I choose expeller-pressed, unrefined evening
primrose oil-which contains no PAs or toxins, but many beneficial
oil-soluble minor ingredients including vitamin E, carotene, phytosterols,
lecithin, polyphenolic antioxidants-for Udo's Choice Oil Blend.