I found this article at NOW-University.com and found it interesting and wanted to share it. - Laurie G
By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, June 4, 2014, abstracted from “Dose-Dependent Effects of Evening Primrose Oil in Children and Adolescents with Atopic Dermatitis” in the August 2013 issue of the Annals of Dermatology
Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, starts in the early years of life and is characterized by varying degrees of redness and itching (1) on the face and in the skin folds of the arms and legs. Although its cause is not known, family history of asthma and hay fever seem to increase the risk for eczema (2, 3). Recent estimates suggest that eczema affects 31.6 million Americans and costs our healthcare system as much as $4 billion per year (5, 6).
Now a new study (7) suggests evening primrose oil may be a safe and effective treatment for AD. The study involved 40 children (24 males, 16 females) between the ages of 2 and 15 and diagnosed with AD. They received either 160 milligrams of evening primrose oil twice daily (20 subjects) or 320 milligrams of evening primrose oil twice daily (20 subjects) for 8 weeks. There was no placebo group.
The subjects were not allowed to use any previous medications or treatments for their AD. Their symptoms were measured before the study began and at weeks 2, 4, and 8 using the eczema area severity index to rate the severity of their symptoms on a scale from 0 (no symptoms) to 10 (very severe symptoms).
By the end of 8 weeks, statistical significance was not reached with the 160 milligrams-twice-daily treatment (22.7% decrease in eczema area severity index (5.85 to 4.525, p = 0.55)) but was reached in the 320 milligrams-twice-daily treatment. Specifically, researchers observed a 44.4% decrease after 8 weeks (6.25 to 3.475, p = 0.001). What’s more, no side effects were reported in either group.
When discussing how evening primrose oil may produce these beneficial skin effects, the researchers pointed to two possible mechanisms. First, evening primrose oil is high in the omega-6 fatty acid GLA, and omega-6 deficiency has been a suggested cause of AD (8). Second, GLA has anti-bacterial properties, especially against Staphylococcus aureus, which is a common problem in patients with AD (9, 10).
The researchers also gave dosage recommendations, stating “the optimum oral dosage of GLA should range from 160 to 320 mg per day in pediatric AD patients and from 320 to 480 mg per day in adult AD patients.” And although the lack of a placebo group is a weakness of the study, the researchers still went on to conclude that “evening primrose oil may be useful for treating AD patients in a dose-dependent manner.”
Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Hauppauge, NY. You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at PitchingDoc@msn.com or visiting his web site at www.PitchingDoc.com
1. Hanifin J. , ; Atopic dermatitis In: Middleton E, Reed CE, Ellis EF, Busse B, editors Allergy, St. Louis: principles and practice, Mosby; 1993. p. 1581-604.In:4th ed..
2. Hanifin J, Rajka G. Diagnostic features of atopic dermatitis Acta Derm Venereol 1980;Suppl 92:44-7.
3. Schultz Larsen F, Hanifin J. , ; Epidemiology of atopic dermatitis In: Boguniewicz M, editor Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America 22 2002. p. 1-24.In:.
4. Hanifin JM. A Population-Based Survey of Eczema Prevalence in the United States. Dermatitis 2007;18(2):82-91
5. Carroll CL, Balkrishnan R, Feldman SR, et al. The burden of atopic dermatitis: impact on the patient, family, and societyPediatr Dermatol 2005;22:192-9
6. Ellis C, Drake L, Prendergast M, et al. Cost of atopic dermatitis and eczema in the United States J Am Acad Dermatol2002;46:361-70
7. Chung BY. Dose-Dependent Effects of Evening Primrose Oil in Children and Adolescents with Atopic Dermatitis . Ann Dermatol 2013 Aug;25(3):285-91. doi: 10.5021/ad.2013.25.3.285. Epub 2013 Aug 13
8. Horrobin DF. Essential fatty acid metabolism and its modification in atopic eczema. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(1 Suppl): 367S-372S.
9. Foster RH, Hardy G, Alany RG. Borage oil in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Nutrition 2010;26:708-718.
10. Lacey RW, Lord VL. Sensitivity of staphylococci to fatty acids: novel inactivation of linolenic acid by serum. J Med Microbiol 1981;14:41-49