Adverse Effects and Toxicity

When taken within the recommended dosage range, the y-linolenic acid content of OEP is equivalent to that present in a normal diet (6). Thus, although adverse effects are rare at recommended doses, occasionally, mild gastrointestinal effects and headache may occur with oral use of OEP. The World Health Organization Programme for International Drug Monitoring reported that, in the period between 1968 and 1997, there were 193 adverse reactions reported mentioning OEP. The most critical of these OEP reports mentioned convulsions, aggravated convulsion, face edema, and asthma. The most noncritical OEP adverse effects included headache, nausea, itching, abdominal pain, and diarrhea (52). In the study by Guivernau et al. summarized in Subheading 5.6, they reported that OEP inhibited platelet aggregation and prolonged bleeding time in 12 males with hyperlipidemia taking 3 g of OEP daily (containing linoleic acid 2200 mg and y-linolenic acid 240 mg). Compared to placebo, bleeding time at 3 and 4 months increased 40%, with the group's mean rising from 6 to 12 minutes (p < 0.001) (42).

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