Over the last 20 years, there has been mass marketing of alternative health care products for every type of medical disorder. One of these products is primrose oil. Almost everyone seems to be on this “magical” product in the belief that not only will it cure heart disease but will keep them young and beautiful. But what is Primrose Oil all about?
The primary ingredient in evening primrose oil (EPO) is omega-6 essential fatty acid- an unsaturated fatty acid that is thought to account for many of the postulated benefits of the supplement. Primrose oil has been widely used by consumers in Europe, Asia and China. So far all its medical benefits have been based on folklore and there is very little in terms of scientific data. Anecdotal reports and Grand Ma’s advice appear to have marketed this product.
Primrose oil has been reported to lower blood sugars. Individuals who take primrose oil claim that the blood sugar levels do decrease over time. The manufacturers of Primrose oil also recommend it as a supplementary agent for diabetics
Primrose oil is available as a capsule and readily available in most health food stores.
Asides from the anecdotal reports, there are no clinical trials about the product. As far as its sugar lowering effects are concerned, these are only seen in less than 5% of individuals and are not consistent.
So far there is not a single study that has shown that regular intake of primrose oil can reduce blood cholesterol, blood pressure or lower the incidence of heart disease.
The one good thing about EPO is that it is generally safe. The few side effects include nausea, abdominal cramps and bloating.
For the diabetics it has to be understood that Primrose oil is not a substitute for insulin or their oral hypoglycemic medications. Although the supplement may lower blood sugars, the mechanism remains unknown.
For those who want to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, the best advice is walk on a regular basis, do not smoke, control your body weight and eat a healthy diet. This sound advice is free, time tested and works.