Borage Seed Oil – Does It Work for Arthritis Treatment?
There are many supplements that you may use to relieve your arthritis symptoms. Borage seed oil is one of them. Despite the claims of manufacturers of this dietary supplement, you should definitely evaluate its effectiveness and safety objectively. Use this guide to find all the information you need and to make an adequate decision.
Borage seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant Borago officinalis, native to the Mediterranean regions. This supplement is known with other popular names. These include star flower oil, tail wort and bee bread.
This supplement is rich in essential fatty acids and, namely, omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids have been shown to stimulate the production of special chemicals in the body that fight inflammation. They are attributed other properties, apart from their anti inflammatory ones. They are considered to be immune and energy boosters. They are attributed antidepressant properties as well.
The most powerful of all essential fatty acids in borage seed oil is considered to be the gamma linolenic acid, also known as GLA for short. GLA is attributed a variety of arthritis treatment properties. It is believed to reduce inflammation of the joints and to relieve pain. It is also considered capable of reducing the swelling and the morning stiffness in the joints.
Is there any scientific evidence that borage seed oil can have all these positive effect on arthritis? This dietary supplement has not been broadly studied, but the research evidence presented so far suggests that its effectiveness is quite good.
One controlled double study with one group of patients taking the supplement and the other taking a placebo drug concluded that the patients using the supplement experienced significant relief from joint tenderness, joint swelling and joint stiffness in the morning. In addition, the number of swollen joints in patients taking borage seed oil was reduced. In another study with a similar setting, 64% of patients taking the supplement experienced improvement in joint tenderness and stiffness compared to 21% of patients who underwent placebo treatment.
It has not been clinically established how much of borage seed oil is necessary for relief of arthritis symptoms on a daily basis. Some studies have suggested that the optimal dosage of GLA that should be taken each day is 1 gram. In addition, researchers have found the gamma linolenic acid should be taken for at least one to three months in order to produce the desired results.
This supplement has shown to have mild side effects in trials. Some patients participating in the studies have complained from nausea, headache, indigestion and skin rush. Since borage seed oil contains some liver toxins it may have an adverse effect on the liver, especially in patients who have chronic liver conditions. Still, some manufacturers remove these toxins from their products. Even though the supplement’s interaction with other medications has not been fully studies yet, it may interfere with blood clotting medications and some anti inflammatory drugs.
Overall, you may want to use borage seed oil to get some relief from arthritis symptoms. However, you should do this with caution and under the supervision of your doctor.