What is Gamma Linolenic?

Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) is the precursor of both Dihomogamma Linolenic Acid (DGLA), an anti-inflammatory fatty acid, and Arachidonic Acid (AA), a pro-inflammatory fatty acid. It can be produced in human tissues by action of desaturase enzymes on LA. DGLA is anti-inflammatory, so an insufficiency of this fatty acid impairs a wide range of cellular functions and tissue responses.

It is found in hemp, borage, black currant, and evening primrose oils. GLA corrects most of the biological effects of zinc deficiency, highlighting the zinc requirement of the ∆5 desaturase enzyme.

Signs and symptoms of alpha or gamma linolenic acid insufficiency:

  • growth retardation
  • weakness
  • impairment of vision
  • learning disability
  • poor coordination
  • tingling in arms/legs
  • behavioral changes
  • mental disturbances
  • low metabolic rate
  • high blood pressure
  • immune dysfunction

Possible treatment:

Add flax, evening primrose, or black currant oil.


The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: