Evening primrose oil is not just for diabetics – research has found that its oil can help patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and eczema, as well. The benefits for diabetics have mostly to do with the nerve damage that the condition can cause.
Evening primrose oil helps bodies by restoring proper levels of several of the essential fatty acids that are needed, such as gamma-linolenic acid. Without these fatty acids, our bodies do not produce enough prostaglandins, which help fight inflammation. These fatty acids can be found in other plant-based supplements, such as black currant oil and borage, but they do not produce prostaglandins at a rate comparable to evening primrose oil.
Here’s how evening primrose oil can help diabetics. One of the more unpleasant effects of diabetes is loss of nerve function. This can lead to deterioration of the extremities, particularly the feet. One of the primary causes of this has to do with a deficiency in the way the body metabolizes essential fatty acids. A 1993 study linked a regimen of gamma-linolenic acid with improved nerve function for diabetic patients – particularly for those who were able to maintain fairly stable blood sugar levels.
Another benefit of evening primrose oil for diabetics has to do with the spread of cardiovascular disease. A regimen that includes supplements to increase gamma-linolenic acid levels has been shown to cut down on instances of cardiovascular disease for diabetics. Boosting this acid also protects the kidneys and the heart.
Your particular dosage of evening primrose oil will vary, depending on your doctor’s recommendation. However, the most common range is from 1000 to 2000 mg, with anywhere from 270 to 540 mg of gamma-linolenic acid. If you take a Vitamin C supplement at the same time, or take it with some orange juice, the evening primrose oil will benefit you even more. If you are starting a long-term regimen, you may also want to add Vitamin E, as it will keep you from experiencing some of the less pleasant side effects of essential oil supplements.
If you have temporal lobe epilepsy, you should not take evening primrose oil, as it may interfere with your anti-seizure medication. If you are on an aspirin or NSAID regimen, check with your doctor to see if there are any potential interactions that would affect you. If you don’t have any of these risk factors, though, and are worried about diabetic neuropathy, then this is a supplement that could work wonders for you!