This page about Borage Oil for gout, (starflower oil for gout) was last reviewed, or updated, on 27 May 2014.
Why borage oil for gout? You may want to include borage oil in your gout plan because it's the best source of gamma linolenic acid. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an omega -6 fat, is one of the nutrients that orchestrate in the body the production of “good” eicosanoids. Improving the balance of “good” and “bad” eicosanoid prostaglandins is the key to gout pain relief from this method.
Gamma linolenic acid is one of the star nutrients – the other stars are EPA and DHA, (from fish oils), and the body enzymes D6D and D5D. The rest of the cast are linoleic acid (LA) and alpha linolenic acid (ALA). To understand why they can deliver gout pain relief read our omega -6 page, especially the section entitled "The Role of Arachidonic Acid", and our fish oils page.
And on this page you can read about gout pain
relief testimonials using this approach.
Together these substances and enzymes modulate the production in the body of "good" and "bad" eicosanoids. These are hormones, produced in the cells in their case, not glands, and the balance of them affects many health factors. Obviously you want more "good" than "bad." The words “good” and “bad” are in this medical context. In others “bad” can be good.
For gout sufferers the significance of eicosanoid balance is that by improving
it you can get relief for gout pain and reduce your need for pain medications
such as NSAIDs or corticosteroids such as prednisone.
Borage Oil, also called starflower oil, is extracted from the seeds of the borage plant, a herb.
It is an excellent source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), in fact a better source than evening primrose oil and blackcurrant seed oil. This means that you get a higher by far dose of GLA from a single capsule when you use borage oil. Did you know that 20% – 23% of borage oil is GLA, whereas only about 10% of evening primrose oil is GLA?
You can see why it's also called a starflower
Borage oil also contains linoleic acid (LA) which is required in this
treatment. It's a better quality source of LA, as is evening primrose oil, than
the cooking oils mentioned on the omega -6 page.
You can find borage oil dietary supplements which deliver 220 mg – 300 mg of GLA per capsule, whereas your average evening primrose oil supplement contains 50 mg – 100 mg GLA. Some dietary supplements of evening primrose oil are formulated to provide slightly higher amounts of GLA, but they don't match the amount in borage oil.
This means the cost per capsule for GLA content is probably less than evening primrose oil, especially when you buy a higher quantity of borage oil, thus spending more up front, but getting it cheaper over the long-run. Check this at the vitamin web sites or vitamin retailers you frequent. In Dr.Atkins's Vita-Nutrient Solution book you need more. If you attempt this treatment, high quality fish oils and the control/reduction of insulin levels by carbohydrate restriction (but not down to the amounts in the initial phase of the Atkins diet), are the other key factors.
You may find you require more GLA, although there is such a
thing as taking too much. GLA is also produced by converting it from linoleic
acid. Your internal LA to GLA conversion rate depends on many factors. A key
one is your age. Gout sufferers are usually over 40. By 65 you only produce ⅓ of the amount of GLA
from LA as you did when about 25. Taking GLA in its own form, not converted,
guarantees you can get an amount you know.
GLA is one of the keys to dealing with swelling and for pain relief. Whether you need the amount of GLA in borage oil, or in evening primrose oil, depends on what your doctor says, and whether you use the Sears's or Atkins's methods for gout pain treatment.
The omega -6 page says more about both approaches. If you opt for the Atkins's approach, it requires a much higher GLA amount, and so borage oil is an easier product to use, and probably cheaper, than evening primrose oil because it has more GLA per capsule. The GLA for gout dosage is discussed on this page (essential oils for gout)
If you decide on the high omega -3/low GLA approach, as described on the omega -6 page, then click on the Zone Diet banner advertisement below, and view the EicoRx range of fish oils which also contain added amounts of GLA. To do this, when the Zone Diet's home page arrives, click on the Omega -3 tab at the top.
This is not a commercial link.