I have previously taken a whole variety of different supplements to help with lupus symptoms. I figured I would start with one of those supplements, in a profile, that is fairly commonly heard of, especially if you are familiar with supplements. This supplement is Evening Primrose Oil.
I will start off by saying that the effectiveness of these supplements I will be writing about are not measured the same way as FDA controlled drugs. Effectiveness ratings are based on reports and a independent studies that have been done by various groups and organizations. I put together my own research and cocktail of supplements to fit my SLE needs and personal symptoms, which are what I will be sharing over the next few posts.
You should always ask, and tell your doctor, about any type of supplement you are taking and/or using to be sure it is safe for your personal situation.
I used evening primrose oil to help deal with my arthritis-type symptoms, and to reduce overall inflammation in my body.
The effectiveness rating for this supplement does not show sufficient evidence to make a judgment, but one of the most common uses of this supplement is for inflammation reduction, and assistance in controlling arthritis-type symptoms.1
What is it, and how does it work?
Evening primrose oil is extracted from the seed of the plant. 2 It is considered a “fatty acid” in its makeup. Specifically it is a gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an Omega 6 fatty acid. Inside of the body this exerts anti-inflammatory and healing processes. The seeds also contain ALA (another fatty acid – in the omega 3 category). 2 About 2-16% of the fatty acids in this oil are available in the form of GLA for your body to use. This is not the highest amount of any supplement, but it is one of the highest, but it is the most widely studied of the possible sources.2
The body breaks down the GLA to prostaglandins that regulate functions that reduce inflammation.2 In my specific situation, with SLE, I was looking for the kidney, joint, skin and other body area inflammation reduction. This has also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels in those with SLE.2
There are a whole list of other possible benefits to certain diseases and conditions of Evening Primrose Oil – that you can read about at WholeHealthMD.com.
Forms and Dosage
This is available in capsule, oil or softgel format.
Depending on what you are using the supplement for there are different dosages. For SLE, I took 1000 mg three times a day. To read more about dosage check out this link: http://wholehealthmd.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=17E09E7CFFF640448FFB0B4FC1B7FEF0&nm=Reference+Library&type=AWHN_Supplements&mod=Supplements&mid=&id=8715E6985B0845D091ECFD3F79A381C8&tier=2
Safety – this is one of the safer supplement options to take. It has been studied and has been used for a long time by many people. It’s not a rare supplement, and therefore, likely safe for most uses.
Warnings and Cautions
Just like with medication from a pharmacy – there is always a chance at side effects and possible interactions of the supplement with other medications and conditions. Evening primrose oil can increase bleeding, or bruising, especially if combined with aspirin-like products. This is true with NSAID use and this oil.
Whenever I took supplements, I always took them alone, and not in combination with my lupus pharmaceutical drugs. NSAIDs are a common pharmaceutical treatment for lupus so it is important NOT to take those with this supplement.
As mentioned before it’s very important to talk to your doctor before starting a supplement to clear yourself for proper, safe use.
What supplements to buy?
It is important to buy high quality, and “clean” supplements. The NOW brand is one of my preferred brands. In fact I buy all except one of my supplements from this brand, as well as essential oil. They do not use harmful chemicals such as hexane in creating the supplements. I buy all my supplements from vitaglo.com – they offer a wide variety of brands, and healthy safe supplement options. They are a local business (to my location) that runs a Website as well.
You want to read your labels, and look for:
• Organic (when possible)
• No chemicals used in processing (they are usually clearly advertised as NOT being used on the front).
• Hypoallergenic product (they should be safe for people with allergies as well).
If you are looking at a product and it’s not advertising these things and the price seems very cheap compared to other brands, then it may not be a smart choice. Most higher quality supplements advertise why they are better.
If you want to check out the quality of NOW brand – you can read about it here. http://www.nowfoods.com/Quality/
I am in no way affiliated with NOW brand, I just like and use their products – by choice.
Hopefully it’s an option for you to try to help your symptoms and overall health.