The effect of gamma-linolenic acid on plasma and membrane lipids and renal prostaglandin synthesis in older subjects

Bratisl Lek Listy. 2002;103(3):101-7.


Senescence is associated with a decreased activity of enzyme delta-6 desaturase, which converts linoleic acid to gamma-linolenic acid. This enzymatic defect may alter the composition of plasma and membrane lipids, and influences the biosynthesis of renal prostaglandins. Exogenous supplementation of GLA during 3 months increases the plasma level of dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (p < 0.002), and to a smaller degree, the level in erythrocyte membrane lipids. This treatment was associated with a beneficial reduction of cardiovascular risk factors (arterial hypertension, total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, HDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I) and the renal function has become stable reached. Epogam treatment also increased the biosynthesis of renal prostaglandins, especially that of prostaglandin E2, which has a vasodilatory effect on vessel walls and reduces the elevated blood pressure.

Conclusion: Dietary supplementation of essential fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid to old subjects has beneficial effect on their health condition. (Tab. 6, Fig. 5, Ref. 37.)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Oenothera biennis
  • Plant Oils
  • Prostaglandins / biosynthesis*
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid / pharmacology*


  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Lipids
  • Plant Oils
  • Prostaglandins
  • evening primrose oil
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid