Dihomogamma Linolenic Acid (DGLA) is the elongation product of Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA, in turn, is a desaturation product (Delta 6 desaturase) of linoleic acid. DGLA is made in the body by the elongation of GLA, by an efficient enzyme which does not appear to suffer any form of (dietary) inhibition. DGLA is an extremely uncommon fatty acid, found only in trace amounts in animal products.
DGLA production from GLA is enhanced when high levels of alpha-linolenic acid are present, blocking the arachidonic acid pathway.
Low levels of dihomogamma-linolenic acid result from diets low in both essential fatty acids, LA, and dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA). DGLA is also anti-inflammatory, so an insufficiency of this fatty acid impairs a wide range of cellular functions and tissue responses. When testing reveals low levels of DGLA, supplementation with black currant or evening primrose oils should be considered, but if a history of tumor formation is known, always consider ALA sources (black currant) as well.
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