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A total of approx 400 t of seeds are processed each year in the United States and Canada. One major supplier of OEP derives the oil from specially selected and hybridized forms of Oenothera species (6). OEP in oral tablets or capsules usually range from 500 to 1300 mg. Most commercial products are standardized for a y-linoleic acid content of 9% (2). Dosage forms include oral formulations (capsules, tablets, oil swallowed directly or mixed with another liquid/food) and topical (7).

Examples of products containing OEP include Efamol® Pure Evening Primrose Oil, Efamol PMS Control, Efamol Fortify, Efalex® capsules, Efalex® liquid, and Efanatal®. Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil is a natural colored, oval, soft gelatin capsule and a 500-mg capsule contains Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil 500 mg (linoleic acid 165 mg and y-linolenic acid 40 mg). Efamol PMS Control is an opaque, pink, oval, soft gelatin capsule and a 695-mg capsule contains Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil 250 mg (linoleic acid 320 mg and y-linolenic acid 20 mg), vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 30 mg, magnesium (as heavy magnesium oxide) 20 mg, vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl) 20 mg, niacin (as niacinamide) 6 mg, zinc (as zinc sulfate monohydrate) 2 mg, vitamin E (as rf-a-tocopheryl acetate) 15 IU, and rf-biotin 40 ^g. Efamol Fortify is a white, oblong, soft gelatin capsule and a 750-mg capsule contains calcium (as calcium carbonate) 100 mg, Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil 400 mg (255 mg linoleic acid and 32 mg y-linolenic acid), marine fish oil 44 mg with an eicosapentaenoic acid content of 7 mg, and vitamin E (as rf-a-tocopheryl acetate) 15 IU. Efalex is a clear, oblong, soft gelatin capsule and a 450-mg capsule contains a docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil 294 mg with a docosahexaenoic acid content of 60 mg, Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil 140 mg (y-linolenic acid 12 mg and arachidonic acid 5.25 mg), vitamin E (as rf-a-tocopheryl acetate) 15 IU, and thyme oil 1 mg. Efalex Liquid is a pale yellow-green, lemon-lime flavored, free-flowing oil. One teaspoon (5 mL) contains sunflower oil 3584 mg, docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil 520 mg with a docosahexaenoic acid content of 120 mg, Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil 300 mg (y-linolenic acid 24 mg and arachidonic acid content of 10.5 mg), vitamin E (as rf-a-tocopheryl acetate) 3.7 IU, and thyme oil 2 mg. Efanatal is a pink, oval, soft gelatin capsule and a 517-mg capsule contains Efamol Pure Evening Primrose Oil 140 mg (linoleic acid 162 mg, y-linolenic acid 20 mg, and arachidonic acid 4.3 mg), fish oil 250 mg, docosahexaenoic acid 62.5 mg, and vitamin E (as rf-a-tocopheryl acetate) 7.5 IU. Other products containing OEP are available from manufacturers such as Jamieson, Holista, and Nutrilite. Some OEP products on the market may contain other oils in their formulations including borage oil and black current oil.

4.1. Dosage

Use of more than 4 g OEP daily (300-600 mg y-linolenic acid) is not recommended (6). However, adult doses of 3-8 g/day have been used for various conditions (2). For a OEP product with a standardized y-linolenic acid content of 8%, the following dosages are recommended for the following conditions (7): atopic eczema, 4 to 8 g daily for adults, 2 to 4 g daily for children; cyclical and noncyclical mastalgia, 3 to 4 g daily; PMS, 3 g daily.

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