Facts and Food Sources of gamma-Linolenic acid


Gamma-linolenic acid or GLA is a fatty acid which is primarily in vegetable oils. When acting on GLA, Arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase generates no leukotrienes and conversion by enzyme of arachidonic acid to leukotrienes is inhibited. It is a fatty acid which is found in various plant seed oils such as evening primrose oil and borage oil. It is used for conditions which affect skin which includes systemic sclerosis, eczema and psoriasis. It is used for high cholesterol, polyps in mouth, rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome.


First, GLA was isolated from the evening primrose seed oil. Native Americans treat swelling in the body. It was introduced in 17th century and a folk remedy commonly known as king’s cures all. Luft and Heiduschka extracted oil in 1919 from evening primrose seeds and described unusual linoleic acid which was named γ-. Later Riley characterized exact chemical structure. Though there are α- and γ- forms of linolenic acid, there is no β- form. It was once identified but turned out to be an artifact of original analytical process.

Health Benefits of gamma-Linolenic acid

  1. Atopic eczema

Supplements of GLA such as evening primrose oil are found to be beneficial in lowering an intensity of the allergic response, itching, scaling and skin sensitivity.

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis

GLA supplementation promotes formation of PGE1 and may lower inflammation or joint stiffness.

  1. Psoriasis

GLA can lower redness, skin inflammation and scaling.

  1. Diabetes

Diabetics have debilitated ability to convert linoleic acid to GLA. GLA supplementation could be beneficial for lowering hyper-lipidemia and promoting motor or sensory nerve function in diabetic neuropathy.

  1. PMS

GLA improve PMS symptoms which includes irritability, depression, breast tenderness, and fluid retention.

  1. Hyperactivity

Children having hyperactivity are at higher chances of EFA deficiency and are beneficial from GLA supplementation.

  1. Hyperlipidemia

GLA may lower plasma total cholesterol.

Dietary Sources

Food name Weight (g) gamma-Linolenic acid (g)
Hemp seeds 30 0.402
Margarine 259 0.210
Coleslaw 167 0.110
Mozzarella cheese 228 0.103
French fries 184 0.088
Pine nuts 135 0.070
Egg 85 0.046
Avocado 230 0.034
Brazilnuts 133 0.024
Kielbasa 370 0.022
Sausage 43 0.021
Mayonnaise 13.8 0.017
Turkey 85 0.017
Queso fresco cheese 122 0.011
Bacon 85 0.005
Cream 94 0.005
Sockeye salmon 85 0.004
Plantains 118 0.004
Oyster 85 0.003
Swiss cheese 132 0.003






  • User Ratings (0 Votes)

About Author

Comments are closed.