Mega GLA with Sesame Lignans

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Mega GLA with Sesame Lignans
Inhibits Inflammatory Factors
60 softgels

The body needs fatty acids to survive and is able to make all but two of them: linoleic acid (LA), in the omega-6 family, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the omega-3 family. These two fatty acids must be supplied by the diet and are therefore considered essential fatty acids (EFAs). Omega-6 fatty acids are well-supplied in the diet by meat and vegetable oils. However, not all omega-6 fatty acids are of equal value. Arachidonic acid (AA) tends to be unhealthy because it is the precursor of inflammatory eicosanoids — such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), thromboxane A2, and leukotriene B4 — which promote inflammation. In contrast, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in evening primrose oil, borage oil, and black currant oil, is an important fatty acid that plays a beneficial role in healthy prostaglandin (PGE1) formation and pro-inflammatory mediator reduction. Health-conscious people have been swallowing a lot of borage oil supplements to obtain GLA (gamma linolenic acid), the parent of the biologically active DGLA (dihomogamma linolenic acid). Life Extension adds 10 mg of sesame lignans to each softgel of Mega GLA borage oil. Sesame lignans not only increase beneficial DGLA but they also impede the conversion of GLA into the proinflammatory mediator arachidonic acid. Blocking this pathway decreases the formation of proinflammatory agents prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4.Numerous studies document GLA’s multiple health effects. Enhancing this supplement with sesame lignans enables GLA to work much better in the body, allowing many more people to benefit from supplemental GLA.

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Detaljer

Supplement Facts
Serving Size 1 softgel
Amount Per Serving
Calories15
Calories from fat 15
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) [from borage oil (seed)] 299 mg
Sesame seed lignan extract 10 mg
Other ingredients: gelatin, glycerin, purified water, silica, sunflower lecithin, carob color, rosemary extract.
Non-GMO
Dosage and Use
Take one softgel (1) one to two times daily with food, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.
Up to five (5) softgels can be taken daily.

The Beneficial Omega-6 Fatty Acid
By Kirk Stokel
Most health-conscious people already know about the broad-spectrum benefits of omega-3
fatty acids, particularly EPA/DHA from fish and other sources.
The typical American diet, however, contains too much omega-6 fatty acids. Health-conscious
individuals try to reduce this type of fat in their diet. Sources of excess omega-6s include most
vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, as well as poultry and eggs.
There is one omega-6, however, called gamma linolenic acid (GLA) with an impressive set of
disease-fighting powers. New research reveals this nutrient’s power to combat chronic inflammation, eczema, dermatitis,
asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity—even cancer1!-8
Most people don’t obtain sufficient quantities of it owing to dietary deficiency, and also because the enzyme in the body
governing its metabolism becomes less active with age.9
In this article, we uncover the latest research on gamma linolenic acid and provide compelling evidence for its ability to
combat a range of chronic age-related disorders—alone and in combination with EPA/DHA.
GLA: An Anti-Inflammatory Essential Fat
GLA (gamma linolenic acid) is a plant-derived omega-6 most abundant in seeds of an Eastern flower known as borage.1,10,11
Although a member of the omega-6 family, it’s metabolized differently than other omega-6s.
Our modern Western diet is rife with omega-6 fats and generally deficient in omega-3 fats, a
fatal imbalance that sets in motion the inflammatory processes implicated in most killer
diseases of aging.12-14
The threat this poses to aging humans is compounded by the aging process itself.
Aging results in defects occurring in human enzymes responsible for producing
anti-inflammatory molecules from dietary fats. The result is an increased risk for
inflammatory conditions of all kinds. Supplemental GLA can counteract this acquired enzyme
defect, supplying vital biochemical precursors with powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
By converting into beneficial prostaglandins (PGE1s), GLA compensates for this deficiency.15,16 The results can be a
profound reduction in the impact of inflammation on cardiovascular disease, lung function, autoimmune conditions, and
metabolic abnormalities including diabetes.17-20
Another way GLA exerts a beneficial effect is to compete with harmful arachidonic acid or AA. When one eats foods like
meat or egg yolk, excess levels of arachidonic acid accumulate that is then broken down into toxic byproducts by the
enzymes cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and lipoxygenase (LOX). GLA inhibits these destructive enzymes, thus impeding the
ability of AA to convert to detrimental inflammatory molecules (like leukotriene B4).1
GLA plays an important role in modulating inflammation throughout the body, especially when incorporated into the
membranes of immune system cells.18,21 Early in 2010, a team of Taiwanese researchers discovered that GLA regulates the
inflammatory “master molecule” nuclear factor-kappaB or NF-kB, preventing it from switching on genes for inflammatory
cytokines in cell nuclei.22
A separate mechanism by which GLA and other beneficial fatty acids reduce inflammation is by activating the powerful
peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) system.23 PPARs are intracellular receptors that modulate cell
metabolism and responses to inflammation. The class of antidiabetic drugs called thiazolidinediones (such as Actos® or
pioglitazone) acts by targeting PPARs—but unlike GLA, they can be deadly2.4
Novel Cardiac Defense
Atherosclerosis is in large part the result of chronic, low-grade inflammation.25 The GLA-producing enzyme delta
6-desaturase (D6D) declines with advancing age and stress. Some experts believe that this may both partially explain the
age-related increase in atherosclerosis and indicate GLA as an attractive intervention to reduce arterial disease risk by
bypassing this enzymatic defect.26 When incorporated into membranes of platelets, white blood cells, and endothelial cells,
GLA works via multiple mechanisms to shift the cardiovascular system back towards its natural, non-inflamed state.27
In both human and animal studies, GLA reduces the tendency of platelets to aggregate, or clump together, within small blood
vessels.28,29 This activity is related to its effect of reducing activity of thromboxane, a signaling molecule involved in blood
clotting, and may be helpful in reducing the risk of heart attack and strokes.19,29 Laboratory research shows that
cholesterol-induced stimulation of platelet aggregation, for example, is prevented with the addition of GLA.5
GLA also shows promise in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride levels, while increasing high-density
lipoprotein (HDL) concentration.5,19 GLA supplementation reduced the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in rats fed a
high-cholesterol diet, reducing total cholesterol and triglycerides and dramatically inhibiting oxidation of LDL, an important
first step in atherosclerosis.30
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: GLA
Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is an unusual omega-6 fatty acid with powerful
implications for human health.
Adequate GLA is required to maintain a healthy balance of anti-inflammatory
signaling molecules in the body.
The enzyme that produces GLA from dietary fats decreases in activity with aging and
in certain chronic conditions.
Increasing GLA intake overcomes this deficiency and can restore a healthy balance to
suppress chronic inflammation.
GLA also may help to prevent inflammation-related changes implicated in the development of atherosclerosis and
cancer.
GLA has proven benefits in inflammatory diseases such as eczema, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
In the middle stages of atherosclerosis, smooth muscle cells in vessel walls proliferate, stiffening arteries and making them
less responsive to blood pressure and flow. Cells from animals supplemented with GLA inhibit that smooth muscle
proliferation.31 And in atherosclerosis-prone mice, GLA supplementation markedly suppressed proliferation in the aorta,
while reducing the size of atherosclerotic lesions.32
These combined, multitargeted effects account for GLA’s promise in combating systemic vascular disease. In combination
with EPA, GLA has significantly reduced blood pressure in patients with peripheral arterial disease, a painful and
potentially crippling set of conditions resulting from restricted blood flow in the extremities. The combination of GLA and
EPA also produced a trend towards fewer coronary events.33
A diet containing a balanced mixture of omega-3s (EPA and DHA) plus GLA was able to lower blood pressure in
spontaneously hypertensive rats, while simultaneously enhancing antioxidant status, diminishing platelet aggregation, and
lowering plasma lipids.34
Combating Diabetes and Obesity
New research reveals a surprising link between GLA and diabetes.
A defect in the enzyme that converts dietary fatty acids to GLA may predispose people to develop insulin resistance (“prediabetes”),
suggesting that GLA supplementation may be preventive.7 Rapidly accumulating data support this observation.
Animal studies reveal that GLA can prevent chemically-induced diabetes while restoring normal antioxidant status in
tissues.35 It can also prevent diabetic neuropathy, a painful condition resulting from exposure of nerves to high glucose
levels.36 Excitingly, treatment with GLA plus alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) in diabetic rats not only prevents diabetes-induced
changes in certain kinds of nerve cells—it partially reverses the condition3.7
In humans, GLA supplements (360 mg per day) for six months significantly improved symptoms of diabetic neuropathy;
nerve conduction velocity was also dramatically increased.38,39 These effects are most prominent in individuals whose
diabetes is well-controlled.40
KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF WITH GLA
While shedding the pounds is hard enough, the struggle to keep from putting them back on can be
even harder. Now, new evidence suggests that gamma linolenic acid (GLA) may help prevent
weight regain following major weight loss.6
Fifty formerly obese individuals were randomized in a double-blind fashion to receive either 890
mg per day GLA (derived from 5 g per day of borage oil) or 5 g day olive oil (placebo) for 1
year. Body weight and composition were assessed at 0, 3, and 12 months.
After one year of supplementation, the subjects receiving GLA had regained an average of just
under 5 pounds, versus just over 19 pounds in the placebo group.
This study suggests a role for GLA in reducing weight regain following major weight loss in adults prone to obesity.6
Children with type 1 diabetes display evidence of increased inflammation at an early age; GLA produces significant
reductions in the inflammatory prostaglandin PGE2 after 8 months.41 Adult diabetics supplemented with GLA, EPA, DHA,
and vitamin E experienced an improvement in metabolism of platelet-activating thromboxanes, which may reduce the risk of
diabetic cardiovascular complications.42
Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, and worsens diabetic complications by contributing massive amounts of inflammatory
mediators. A fascinating study from the University of California at Davis found that, in formerly obese people who had
recently achieved major weight loss, GLA supplementation for one year slashed the amount of weight they regained (just
under 5 pounds vs. more than 19 pounds in control patients).6
Potent Anticancer Intervention
As early as 1989, it was revealed that GLA could slow the growth of certain cancer cells in culture.43 A blend of omega-3s
(EPA and DHA) plus GLA reduced levels of a host of inflammatory cytokines in patients with colon cancer, one of the
many cancers that rely on inflammation to stimulate their growth.44
In pre-clinical models, prostate cancer growth was slowed with GLA as a result of reduced production of inflammatory
prostaglandins.45 Growth of a human lung cancer implanted in mice was inhibited by 56% while the animals were on a
GLA-enriched diet.46 Cell cultures of three human tumor lines completely stopped DNA synthesis (a requirement for
continued growth) after GLA treatment.47 GLA increases brain cancer cells’ sensitivity to being killed by radiation
treatments; the supplement also produced direct toxicity to cancer cells, but not to normal tissue.48-50 This could mean
greater effectiveness of radiation treatment with fewer distressing side effects such as skin damage.51
Human results with GLA supplementation have been encouraging. Patients with pancreatic cancer, a malignancy with a
uniformly dismal prognosis, experienced longer survival times after intravenous treatment with a lithium salt of GLA.8
These changes were shown to be related to a GLA-induced increase in blood flow to cancerous tissue, which may permit
larger doses of chemotherapy to reach tumors.52
GLA treatment in breast cancer has had remarkable results, now being included along with tamoxifen as an adjuvant
therapy.53 And certain kinds of human leukemia cells can be induced to die by GLA treatment, which turns on the cells’
“suicide” enzymes.54 Leukemia cells resistant to chemotherapy drugs become vulnerable to drug treatment following
exposure to GLA, which changes expression of several genes and causes the drugs to accumulate in high levels in the diseased
cells.55
We now know that GLA inhibits tumor growth and spread through a host of interrelated mechanisms.56 As is always the
case, however, the evidence suggests that GLA supplementation is much more effective used as prevention than as treatment
after cancer has developed.57,58
Eliminating Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by dryness and flaking of the upper skin
layers, with redness, itching, and often pain of the skin beneath. Mild in many people, severe
eczema sufferers experience chronic misery that can be debilitating, and that may respond only to
fairly large doses of steroids, which can produce dangerous side effects. Many people with eczema
also suffer from asthma and other conditions related to allergic responses—together these
conditions are referred to as atopic conditions, which involve an immune response within the body.
As with asthma, the global incidence of atopic eczema is rising at an alarming rate.59
Studies from 20 years ago first showed that people with eczema may have a defect in their bodies that inhibits their ability
to form GLA naturally from the dietary source linoleic acid.2,60 Breast milk from mothers of children with newly developed
atopic eczema was shown to have low levels of GLA and its metabolites, supporting this notion.61
Supplementation with GLA was immediately successful. Studies in both children and adults revealed less inflammation,
dryness, scaling, and overall eczematic severity compared to controls.2,62,63
In parallel with these beneficial changes, significant changes in plasma fatty acid composition were also noted.2,63
Subsequent analyses showed that there was a positive correlation between improvements in clinical eczema scores and the
rise in beneficial fatty acid levels.64 In addition, GLA supplementation produced an increase in the immune system
“suppressor” cells known as CD8, adding another layer of protection against inflammation.65
Life Extension Magazine January 2011
Report
The Beneficial Omega-6 Fatty Acid
By Kirk Stokel
A Natural Asthma Intervention
Asthma is closely related to eczema in being an inflammatory condition triggered by inflammatory
cytokines, particularly leukotrienes.66 Inhibitors of leukotrienes and their receptors are in
widespread use in asthma management, and since GLA suppresses leukotriene production, it is
natural to wonder whether GLA would be helpful in asthma as well.21,66
In a placebo-controlled trial, daily consumption of 750-1,130 mg GLA plus 500-750 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
improved self-reported asthma status and reduced reliance on “rescue” inhaler drugs in adults with mild-to-moderate
asthma.3 A related study also demonstrated an improved asthma-related quality of life following supplementation.67
Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief
GLA shows great promise in managing symptoms of autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and may
prove an attractive alternative to potentially toxic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).68,69 In randomized,
placebo-controlled studies of RA patients with active symptoms, treatment with GLA (1,400-2,800 mg per day) reduced
the number of tender and swollen joints and lowered pain and tenderness scores.4,70
Laboratory research reveals that GLA treatment of immune cells from RA patients decreases production of the inflammatory
cytokine IL-1beta by about 40% while leaving normal immune function of the cells intact;71 this finding has also been
demonstrated in human research.72 GLA from borage oil triggers a pathway that suppresses a different inflammatory
cytokine, TNF-alpha.73 Experts have concluded that “Strong support exists for gamma linolenic acid (GLA) for pain of
rheumatoid arthritis.”74 Their findings suggested doses of at least 1,400 mg per day for good results.14
Summary
Gamma linolenic acid or GLA is an omega-6 essential fatty acid with overlooked potent
benefits for human health. Because of an age-related decline in activity of enzymes that
naturally produce GLA from precursor fats in our diet, we risk developing GLA deficiency
with age. Too little GLA tips the balance of inflammatory factors called cytokines in our
bodies towards increasing inflammation, and with it increasing risk for chronic disease. GLA supplementation can overcome
this deficiency, providing the anti-inflammatory stimulus we need to control and even prevent diseases such as eczema,
asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and major killers such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at
1-866-864-3027.
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anticancer drugs. Toxicol In Vitro. 2009 Jun;23(4):634-9.
56. Miyake JA, Benadiba M, Colquhoun A. Gamma-linolenic acid inhibits both tumour cell cycle progression and
angiogenesis in the orthotopic C6 glioma model through changes in VEGF, Flt1, ERK1/2, MMP2, cyclin D1, pRb, p53 and
p27 protein expression. Lipids Health Dis. 2009;8:8.
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in atopic eczema. Where do we go from here in light of more recent discoveries? Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006
Dec;7(6):503-24.
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Investig. 1992 Feb;70(2):167-71.
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