Gamma-linolenic acid, (GLA) a metabolite of linoleic acid, may be an effective adjunct therapy for treatment of malignant gliomas. Researchers supplemented malignant rat astrocytoma cells and normal rat astrocytes with either gamma-linolenic acid or linoleic acid. While linoleic acid did not appear to adversely affect either cell type, gamma-linolenic acid was selectively toxic to rat astrocytoma cells. Gamma-linolenic acid also increased the sensitivity of malignant astrocytoma cells to radiation, but did not affect the radiation sensitivity of normal astrocytes. The researchers believe that the differing effects of gamma-linolenic acid on malignant and normal astrocytes are likely due to variations in the cells' abilities to protect themselves against lipid peroxidation and/or free radical generation. They speculate that the reduced ability of the astrocytoma cells to scavenge free radicals might account for the cytotoxicity of [gamma-linolenic acid] in these cells.
Br J Cancer May 1998;77:1612-1620.
COMMENT: Interesting how one can combine natural remedies with conventional chemotherapy to improve the results. GLA is a very powerful omega 6 essential fatty acid that most people benefit from taking. It is particularly helpful for people with dry skin. The best form is usually in Evening Primrose oil. Doses less than six per day are not effective though. It would be wise to avoid using borage oil as a GLA supplement as it has high levels of nervonic acid which is not good for most people.