By Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe, MS
Angela was looking at her childhood photos taking note of her beautiful, glowing skin and realized at 27 her skin was already showing signs of aging. Jennifer at 52 was shocked at how quickly after menopause her skin appeared dull and wrinkled. Kendra delivered a beautiful baby boy but within weeks his head was covered in cradle cap and the folds of his arms had developed eczema. Fatty acid deficiency is the cause of all their skin troubles – but not just any fatty acid. Beautiful skin requires a very special essential fatty acid called Gamma Linolenic Acid also known as GLA. GLA builds better, more beautiful skin from the inside out.
GLA is called “essential” because we have to get it from the food we eat. Sadly the North American diet is made up predominantly of bad fats and devoid of “good” fats. And even if you eat well, to make matters, an enzyme called the delta-6-desaturease enzyme is often impaired which means you can’t make the good fats like GLA from the foods you eat - the only way to get this important fatty acid is from supplements. GLA is found in borage oil (24%) and to a lesser extent evening primrose oil (up to 8%). Fish and flax oil do not provide GLA so taking GLA from borage provides the highest concentration of GLA.
The Secret to Glowing, Youthful Skin
Angela will be happy to know that in one study they gave younger women GLA supplements and in less than 60 days, their skin was not losing as much moisture. And over a third of those who started the study with skin rashes and irritation had none. Plus GLA reduced dry skin and made their skin glow. Make sure your GLA Oil supplement delivers a high amount of GLA (500mg per serving). Many GLA supplements just list the total oil content and you have to read the fine print for the amount of actual GLA.
GLA, Menopause and Skin
In women who have gone through menopause the enzyme that converts fatty acids from our food into GLA no longer works. We have learned that GLA is the main component of beautiful skin. The inability to make GLA after menopause is the reason why Jennifer noticed her skin become dull and wrinkled so quickly once her menstrual cycle stopped. Without sufficient GLA the skin becomes dry, rough and wrinkled. GLA also reduces inflammation in the skin associated with rashes and rosacea which are also common in menopausal women.
GLA, Eczema and Skin Rashes
Not only is GLA important to prevent and treat wrinkled, dry skin but GLA helps with skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis, cradle cap, acne and dry skin occur when we are deficient in GLA. 60 patients given 500mg of GLA per day for eczema had a 90% improvement over 12 weeks. Eczema is a common problem in infants and children GLA is safe for all ages without the side effects seen with steroid creams. During pregnancy moms need extra GLA to ensure the baby does not become deficient. Kendra’s baby has common signs of infant GLA deficiency. Cradle cap and infant eczema or dry crusts on the skin that occur on the scalp, face, armpits, chest and groin area can be treated with topical GLA. One study including 48 infants with dermatitis were given twice daily topical applications of GLA Oil for 6 weeks with complete relief.
Canadians are spending billions of dollars annually on cosmetic treatments yet beautiful skin begins with GLA fatty acids. Start using 2 tsp of pure natural GLA Skin oil today and in 30 days you will notice a dramatic difference in your skin.
Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS is Canada ’s leading women’s health expert. She is the author of 11 books.