What is Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and it's Benefits?

What is Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)?

Gamma Linolenic Acid or GLA is a substance found in a variety of oils (such as borage seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil and evening primrose oil).  It is a polyunsaturated fat (omega-6 fatty acid) that is essential in the human diet as our bodies cannot make it.  Linoleic Acid (LA) is typically found in vegetable oils, and when ingested it can be converted into GLA that our bodies use for the essential maintenance of:

  • Our reproductive health
  • The function of our brain
  • Nail and skin growth

Alongside this maintenance, it also has incredible benefits for your skin when applied topically and when taken orally.

What Role Does GLA Play in Our Skin Health?

GLA is partly responsible (along with a variety of other factors) for keeping our skin healthy and moisturised.  When we are deficient in GLA, we show increased Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL), caused by a breakdown in the skin barrier (usually by external pollutants) which can lead to dry, flaky skin and conditions like eczema, again worsening TEWL.  GLA keeps these skin cells, that would otherwise be dry and flaky, strong and moist to prevent TEWL.

What Conditions is GLA Used For?

GLA is used to help treat a variety of conditions, not limited to the skin.  Conditions such as:

  • Eczema
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Asthma

However, there is minimal evidence to support the effect of GLA for these conditions. 

What Does GLA Have to do with Mamave Products?

At Mamave, we strive to include a little bit (or a lot...) of science based ingredients in our products - every ingredient has a purpose for the skin!  So, when we heard about this little known oil and the incredible research and findings behind it, we knew it was something we had to include in our products. 

Let's welcome Borage Seed Oil!

Borage Seed Oil is high in GLA and has been a feature of a number of studies on its skin benefits.  

In a 2018 study, Borage Seed Oil was found to normalise the skin's barrier function in infants who suffered from dermatitis of the scalp AKA Cradle Cap. It's an amazing ingredient, so that's why you'll find it in all of our For Bub range!  Alongside this, Borage Seed Oil is believed to have a variety of other benefits which include:

  • Assisting with inflammation
  • Helping combat Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Use in some heart conditions

But what about our Mumma Products?

Let's welcome Evening Primrose Oil!

Evening Primrose Oil is another oil high in GLA.  It is a thicker oil than most other plant oils which helps to prevent excess water loss from the skin.  Its touted to have a variety of benefits such as:

  • Increasing skin elasticity
  • Increasing skin hydration
  • Soothing itchy, dry skin

You'll find it in both our Mumma's Oil and Bubba's Massage Oil

We hope this answered some of your questions about Gamma Linolenic Acid, if you'd like to know more or have a question regarding GLA, comment below!

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