Chemical Components

Evening primrose oil contains essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs are polyunsaturated fatty acids containing two or more double bonds. EPO contains about 70% linoleic acid (LA) and 9% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) (Horrobin 2000), as well as oleic, palmitic, and stearic acids, campesterol and beta-sitosterol. Due to the position of its double bonds EPO is classified as an omega-6 (n-6) fatty acid.

Borage seeds (18-26%) and blackcurrant oil (1 5-20%) also contain high amounts of GLA; however, research suggests that they are not necessarily any more potent on a gram-for-gram basis and it has been postulated that this is possibly due to other biologically active components of EPO or the minor stereodimensional differences in the GLA contained within the different oils (Fan & Chapkin 1992)

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