GLA for skin and hormone balance

GLASome people are born with naturally beautiful, glowing, healthy skin. Unfortunately, I am not one of the lucky ones.

What do they have that I don’t?

The answer may be GLA (gamma-linolenic acid).

GLA is a key fatty acid that makes skin beautiful, luminous and radiant. GLA also helps to balance hormones.

The problem with GLA is that we can’t get it from our diet because the only human food that has it is breast milk and past infancy, we are on our own. So, although a good diet is important for good skin, we can’t get GLA from the food we eat. We are supposed to make it ourselves. Our diet provides Linolenic Acid which our body converts into GLA. And, to my point above, some are better at making GLA than others.

There are a number of reasons for a body’s inability to make enough GLA:

  1. Hormonal imbalance can interfere with the body’s ability to make GLA which is why Evening Primrose Oil (which contains GLA) is a commonly used for relief of pre-menstrual symptoms.
  2. A number of lifestyle choices can also inhibit the production of GLA such as poor diet, alcohol and vitamin deficiency.
  3. Stress.
  4. People with chronic skin problems like psoriasis, dermatitis and excema suffer because they can’t make GLA.

And now for the really bad news.

During menopause, the body starts to reduce the amount of GLA it makes and once a woman is finished menopause, her body is no longer able to make GLA from food at all.

Oh great! Another lovely prize behind door number “menopause”.

Without GLA, our skin becomes dull, rough and dry making it prone to redness, rashes and wrinkles. Stress and hormone fluctuations during menopause can also cause hormonal acne.

If you’re seeing a change in your skin and you’re not happy with it, a daily GLA supplement may be the answer. Look for Borage Oil or Evening Primrose Oil. Both contain GLA but the Borage Oil has it in much larger amounts.

The supplements are available in caplets and liquid form. They are both taken orally and one isn’t better than the other. An added advantage of the liquid is that you can actually use it topically on hormonal acne before bed which may help your skin clear faster.

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Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at

  1. I did not know about GLA. I have been taking Evening of Primrose twice a day for about 18 years. I guess I lucked out. I guess that is why I haven’t had any problems with my skin. Thanks.

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