High dose borage oil slows progression
High dose borage oil reduced relapse rate

Clinical Studies

Over an 18-month period, patients taking a high dose selected borage oil (high in Sn2 GLA) showed significant and marked improvement in Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, and markedly reduced rate of relapse, symptomatic relief of muscle spasticity and painful sensory symptoms, and improved objective measures of cognitive functions. Low dose was without effect.

Patients taking the high dose selected Sn2 borage oil maintained their level of immune cell production of anti-inflammatory TGF-β1 during the trial period. Their pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β were significantly and markedly (<70%) reduced. In parallel they maintained the membrane long chain omega-6 fatty acids, dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (AA). In contrast patients taking the placebo demonstrated loss of omega-6 fatty acids e.g. AA over the course of the trial period.

While immune-suppression would be expected to reduce active lesioning and neuro-degeneration, the sn2 borage maintains key omega-6 membrane fatty acids that are otherwise lost in MS, suggesting a correction of a metabolic defect not otherwise effectively treated by current therapies. These membrane long chain omega-6 fatty acids (AA and 22:4 n-6) are also required by the brain and are known as brain selective fatty acids.

Some of the initial clinical trial details were published in the British Journal of Nutrition (2007), 98, Suppl. 1, S46-S53. For the full transcript of the initial clinical trial:

Clinical trial

Other clinical trials have also been undertaken with LA and GLA. Find below:

BMJ Open 2013 BMJ Millar 1973 Complementary Therapies in Medicine