Our immune response depends on 4 fatty acids – EPA, DHA, DGLA and ARA. All have anti-inflammatory effects, except for ARA which is mostly pro-inflammatory.
Some people have a hidden DGLA deficiency, which is associated to immune diseases such as atopic dermatitis. It occurs that DGLA is the only in the list which isn’t present on our food, and must be synthesized from LA instead, but such process depends on D6D, which depends on good levels of Zinc and B6. Because of genetics, or deficiencies such as in Pyrrole Disorder, the synthesis of D6D may be compromised, resulting in a deficiency of 4 fatty acids, were DGLA is the most critical one.
Such hidden deficiency may also causes an ARA deficiency, because although there are foods with ARA, most of it is synthesized from our DGLA. The ARA deficiency is even worse, and associated with Bipolar and Schizofrenia, as it is fundamental to exert our the pro-inflammatory response. On the other hand, when DGLA is deficient but there are good levels of ARA, our immune system tends to overreact, resulting in allergies and chronic immune diseases.
In wither case, most effective approach is to use special supplements which have GLA. DHA and EPA supplementation from fish oil is also recommended for immune diseases and to balance Omega 6 to Omega 3. Direct ARA supplementation, however, is not recommended.
Those are the only rich sources of GLA available:
- Primrose Oil
- Borrage Oil
- Black Currant