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GLA for Beautiful Skin
According to New York University researchers you have about seven seconds to make an impression on someone and your skin is a big part of what people think about us. Beautiful, glowing skin tells people you are healthy and vibrant. If we look at our childhood photos we will most likely see smooth, flawless skin. Yet for many people as early as the late 20s signs of aging are apparent including fine lines and dry skin. Once a woman goes through menopause dramatic changes can occur to the skin with increased wrinkling, dryness and a dull appearance. Fatty acid deficiency is the cause of most common skin conditions from eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and wrinkles – but not just any fatty acid. Beautiful skin requires a very special essential fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid also known as GLA. GLA builds better, more beautiful skin from the inside out. The earliest warning sign of GLA deficiency is cradle cap in infants which is a sign that mom was deficient when she was pregnant.
GLA is called "essential" because we have to get it from the food we eat. Sadly the North American diet is made up predominantly of bad fats from red meats and processed foods devoid of "good" fats. And even if you eat well, to make matters, an enzyme called the delta-6-desaturease enzyme is often impaired which means you can't make the good fats like GLA from the foods you eat – the only way to get this important fatty acid is from a bottle. Younger looking skin in a bottle is something your dermatologist most likely won't tell you about. GLA is found in borage oil (20 to 24%) and to a lesser extent evening primrose oil (8 to 10%). Fish and flax oil do not provide GLA. Consuming GLA oil is the fastest way to gorgeous skin.
Some of the common reasons why the enzyme in the body that makes GLA does not work are low thyroid, viral infections, diabetes and prediabetes, menopause, aging, sugar consumption – on average we eat 150 lbs of sugar per person per year; a deficiency of vitamins C, B6, B3, zinc and magnesium.
The Secret to Glowing, Youthful Skin
In one study researchers had younger women take GLA oil supplements orally and in less than 60 days, their skin was not losing as much moisture. And over a third of those who started the study with skin rashes and irritation had none. Plus GLA oil reduced dry skin and made their skin glow. Just think if we started as children taking GLA oil we may not wrinkle at all. Make sure your GLA oil supplement delivers a high amount of GLA (500mg per serving). Many GLA supplements just list the total oil content and you have to read the fine print for the amount of actual GLA.
GLA, Menopause and Skin
In women who have gone through menopause the enzyme that converts fatty acids from our food into GLA no longer works. We have learned that GLA is the main component of beautiful skin. GLA makes your skin luminescent, dewy and glowing. The inability to make GLA after menopause is the reason why many menopausal women notice their skin becomes dull and wrinkled so quickly once the menstrual cycles have stopped. Without sufficient GLA the skin becomes dry, rough and wrinkled. To return your skin to its youthful glow after menopause we must supplement with GLA. GLA also reduces inflammation in the skin associated with rashes and rosacea which are also common in menopausal women.
GLA, Eczema and Skin Rashes
Not only is GLA important to prevent and treat wrinkled, dry skin but GLA helps to maintain the stability and fluidity of the natural water loss barrier in our skin. Skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis, cradle cap, acne and dry skin occur when we are deficient in GLA. GLA is vital for keeping skin cells moist and strong improving the protective function of the skin. Sixty patients given 500mg of GLA per day for eczema had a 90% improvement over 12 weeks. Eczema is a common problem in infants and children GLA is safe for all ages without the side effects seen with steroid creams. During pregnancy moms need extra GLA to ensure the baby does not become deficient. Cradle cap and infant eczema or dry crusts on the skin that occur on the scalp, face, armpits, chest and groin area can be treated with topical GLA oil. One study including 48 infants with dermatitis were given twice daily topical applications of GLA oil for 6 weeks with complete relief. One teaspoon of GLA oil containing 500mg of GLA should be applied twice a day.
GLA and Sunburn
GLA also reduces the inflammation in the skin caused by the sun's UV light. A Scandinavian study showed that when people took GLA oil supplements it significantly reduced the effect UV light had on their skin. It took longer for their skin to turn red and burn. For those of us who do not like the ingredients in sun screen enhancing our skin's ability to ward off the sun's rays is a plus.
We are spending billions of dollars annually on cosmetic treatments yet the solution for beautiful skin can be found in a bottle of GLA oil.
Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS is Canada's leading women's health expert. She is the author of 12 books. Visit her informative website at www.hormonehelp.com for FREE books and more.