Borage (Borago officinalis) is a plant with blue, star-shaped flowers originated from Europe and North Africa. While the oils derived from flaxseeds, fish and borage all contain essential fatty acids that are necessary for proper health, you might decide to take one, over the other, depending on what your body needs. Since fish oils and flaxseed oils are popular and widely discussed, today I want to talk about Borage Oil instead.
Borage seed oil is an oil derived from the borage seed. Borage seed oil contains high percentages of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), GLA is converted to dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid, a precursor to different prostaglandins and leukotrienes. GLA inhibits leukotriene synthesis to provide therapy in rheumatologic illness.
Borage Oil is also sometimes recommended for treating coughs and chest congestion, cradle cap in infants, depression and menopausal symptoms. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic effects and benefit people at risk of different inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, atopic eczema, and respiratory inflammation. Borage seed oil may further benefit people at risk of diabetes, scleroderma, tardive dyskinesia, eczema and even aging.
Evidence from published journal research suggests that gamma linolenic acid, the key component of borage seed oil, increases prostaglandin E levels that increase cAMP levels that in turn suppress tumor necrosis factor-alpha synthesis.
Stress and Hypertension
In a study, researchers fed 30 subjects with supplements of borage oil, fish oil, or olive oil for 28 days. The researchers found that borage oil alone (1) attenuated the blood pressure and heart rate responses to stress, (2) increased skin temperature, and (3) improved task performance. The study showed that borage oil augmented the arterial baroreflex control of vascular resistance. Thus, borage seed oil may benefit people at risk of high blood pressure or under stress.
Borage seed oil containing a high level of GLA may benefit people at risk of different kinds of inflammatory conditions. For instance, borage oil was demonstrated to modulate pulmonary inflammation, improving lung compliance and oxygenation, and reducing time on mechanical ventilation.
In a vitro study, GLA has been shown to suppress tumor growth.
Fatty liver is a reversible condition where large vacuoles of triglyceride fat accumulate in liver cells via the process of steatosis. Intake of borage oil improved liver morphology, triglyceride content and serum marker enzyme activities. It may benefit people at risk of high triglyceride and fatty liver.
Borage oil may benefit people suffered from eczema or other skin inflammatory conditions. Some studies have shown the benefits of borage oil on atopic dermatitis or eczema with reduction in itching, dryness and skin inflammation
Fish oil and Borage Oil is contraindicated for use with blood-thinning medications such as heparin and Coumadin, because the supplement can increase the medication’s effects and increase your bleeding risks.