Gamma-Linolenic Acid

Various plant oils contain the polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). It also goes by the names 18:3(n-6) and 18:3 omega-6. GLA is not a fatty acid that the body can make on its own, so it is regarded as essential. To maintain good health, the body needs to consume GLA through diet. Welzo users can use this article for informational purposes to better understand GLA.

Health Benefits of Gamma-Linolenic Acid

The use of gamma-linolenic acid supplements has a number of potential health advantages. These consist of:

1. Reducing inflammation: GLA has anti-inflammatory properties and may be useful in easing arthritis symptoms.

2. Increasing skin health: GLA is frequently applied topically to enhance skin appearance and treat conditions like eczema.

3. Lowering the risk of heart disease: According to some studies, taking GLA supplements can lower the risk of heart disease by bringing down blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

4. Improving cognitive function has been demonstrated in animals, and GLA may also have positive effects in people.

5. Increasing weight loss: According to one study, taking GLA supplements helped people on calorie-restricted diets lose more weight.

Side Effects of Gamma-Linolenic Acid

When taken as directed, gamma-linolenic acid is generally regarded as safe. However, some individuals may experience negative effects like nausea, diarrhea, or headaches. Stop taking GLA and see your doctor if you experience any side effects.

Women who are expecting or nursing should refrain from taking GLA supplements unless advised to do so by a medical professional. Speaking with your doctor before beginning supplementation is important because GLA may interact with some medications.

Dosage and Supplementation

Gamma-linolenic acid dosage recommendations change depending on the patient and the condition being treated. Before beginning GLA supplementation, consult your doctor to find out the right dosage for you.

Many plant oils, including evening primrose oil, borage oil, and black currant seed oil, contain GLA. Additionally, it is offered as a supplement. Typically, supplements come in softgels or capsules with 500–1000 mg of GLA each.

Mechanism of Action

According to some theories, gamma-linolenic acid improves health by lowering inflammation and encouraging cell growth. It serves as a precursor for other substances like prostaglandins and leukotrienes that are crucial for human health.


Gamma-linolenic acid may interact with some drugs, including NSAIDs, blood thinners, and diabetes medications. Before beginning a GLA supplement, discuss with your doctor if you are currently taking any medications.


The liver quickly processes gamma-linolenic acid after it is rapidly absorbed from the gut. Around three hours are thought to be the half-life of GLA.


There is little human research on the effects of gamma-linolenic acid on health. To fully comprehend the potential advantages and risks of GLA supplementation for health, more research is required.

Is docosahexaenoic acid more effective than gamma-linolenic acid in reducing the risk of heart disease?

There is some proof that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may reduce the risk of heart disease more effectively than gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). According to one study, DHA supplementation was more effective than GLA supplementation at lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, additional study is required to validate these results.