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Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, Hemp Oil and Black Currant Oil Supplements Reviewed by


  • Do borage, evening primrose, flaxseed and other seed oils with ALA and GLA work?

    These seed oils contain predominately healthful, polyunsaturated fats such as ALA (as from flax) and/or GLA (as from evening primrose) (See "What It Is"). Substituting these for saturated fats in your diet can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Taken as a supplement, they may help with the following conditions, although the evidence remains only preliminary: acne, ADHD, dry eye, bipolar disorder, diabetic neuropathy, mastitis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, and Raynaud's phenomenon. (See "What It Does").
  • What dose of seed oil supplements should I take?

    Depending on the use, studies have used daily doses of seed oils that provide from as little as 15 mg to as much as 2,000 mg of ALA or GLA. (See "Dosage"). Keep in mind that only a part of the seed oil is ALA or GLA, so the amount of oil needed could be double or even 10 times higher than the dose of ALA or GLA. For example, about 55% of flaxseed oil is ALA, so a tablespoon of flaxseed oil (weighing about 14,000 mg) provides about 7,700 mg of ALA, while evening primrose oil is only 7 to 10% GLA (about 1,200 mg per tablespoon). (See "What to Consider When Buying")

  • Best choice for ALA and GLA seed oils?'s tests found that most products were high-quality, although three failed to pass tests for freshness. See CL's Top Picks among products that were Approved.
  • Safety and side effects of black currant, borage, evening primrose, flaxseed and hemp oils:

    Although generally safe, these oils can cause mild nausea and diarrhea, but there are ways to lessen this. Rarely, allergic reactions to flaxseed have been reported. Use these oils with caution if you are pregnant, have a seizure disorder, hemophilia, take blood-thinning medication, or are considering use in an infant. (See "Concerns and Cautions").

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Omega-3 and omega-6 supplements for people -- and pets -- compared in this review:

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Barlean's Organic Oils Flax Oil

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Finest Nutrition Flaxseed Oil

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Flora Udo's Choice Udo's Oil

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GNC Natural Brand Flax Seed Oil

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HALO Purely For Pets Dream Coat

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Health From the Sun Borage Liquid Gold

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Jarrow Formulas Borage

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Life Extension Mega GLA with Sesame Lignans

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Manitoba Harvest Hemp Oil

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Member's Mark Natural Flaxseed Oil

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Nature's Answer Liquid Evening Primrose Oil

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Nature's Bounty Evening Primrose Oil

Nature's Way EFA Gold Flax Oil, Super Lignan

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Nature's Way EfaGold Borage

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NatureWise Organic Flaxseed Oil

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Nutiva Hemp Oil

View Larger Image 5994_small_5994_small_PipingRockcom-BlackCurrant-Small-2017.jpg Black Currant Seed Oil

Puritan's Pride Evening Primrose Oil

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Radiance Platinum Evening Primrose Oil

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Solaray Black Currant Seed Oil

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Solgar Evening Primrose Oil 1300 mg

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Spring Valley Evening Primrose Oil

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Standard Process MediHerb Evening Primrose Oil

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The Missing Link Ultimate Canine Skin & Coat

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The Vitamin Shoppe Omega 3-6-9

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Trunature [Costco] Evening Primrose Oil

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Twinlab Ultra GLA 300

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Vitamin World Evening Primrose Oil

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Webber Naturals Flaxseed Oil

You must be a ConsumerLab member to get the full test results, ratings, and CL's Top Picks for supplements containing black currant, borage, evening primrose, flaxseed, and hemp seed oils along with recommendations.
You will get results for 27 supplements: 17 selected by and 10 others that passed voluntary quality certification testing.  Included are two products for pets. You'll also get information about a supplement that is very similar to another that passed testing.  

In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
  • Which omega-3 and omega-6 supplements passed or failed testing and which were chosen as Top Picks  
  • Direct comparisons of prices, ingredients, amounts of omega fatty acids, and the cost to get these fatty acids from products   
  • What omega-3 and omega-6 supplements can and cannot do for cardiovascular disease and inflammatory diseases such as eczema, mastitis, dry eye, an acne   
  • Dosage for specific uses  
  • Concerns, cautions, potential drug interactions, and side effects of these seed oil supplements  

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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.