Borage Oil as an Alternative for Fish Oil
According to Dr. Grant Cooper (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation), if you do not eat enough fish, and are not a candidate for fish oil supplementation for any reason, evening primrose seed oil, borage seed oil, or flaxseed oil may be good substitutes. The important ingredient in these oils is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). The typical suggested dose of GLA is 1,800 mg per day. Patients should also discuss the options with their physician before taking supplements, because they might be contraindicated for medical conditions they have, or interact with prescription medications they are already taking.
However, according to Karen Graham (Nutrition and Dietetics) and Stacy Weigman (Pharmacy), the thing that sets fish oil apart from other omega-3 and omega-6 oils is the DHA & EPA. They are only found in fish and fish oils.
Fish oil and borage oil contain essential fatty acids, or EFAs, but they are not created equal and differ in their health benefits. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, whereas borage oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Fish oils and supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids that your body cannot make. Mayo Clinic states that the two most important fatty acids in fish oil—eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—improve cardiovascular function, reduce triglycerides and decrease the risk of strokes.
Both fish oil and borage oil helps in moisturizing and maintaining the skin healthy, rheumatoid arthiritis, menopausal symptoms, PMS, heart condition and many beneficial effects. They just differ in their content – fish oil being an Omega-3 essential fatty acid containing EPA and DHA while borage oil being an Omega-3 essential fatty acid containing GLA.
Interaction of Borage Oil and Medication for PCOS
Borage Oil is generally safe. There’s no known drug interaction between borage oil and oral contraceptive pills used in PCOS medication. However, it is best to consult your physician or OB Gynecologist regarding the product.
Below is a list of known drug interactions and contraindication of Borage Oil.
Moderate interaction with :
- Medications that increase the break down of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inducers) interacts with BORAGE
Examples : carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin, rifabutin, and others.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)/ Blood Thinners interacts with BORAGE
Example : aspirin, clopidogrel, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, warfarin, and others.
- Medications used during surgery (Anesthesia) interacts with BORAGE
Minor interaction with :
- NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) interacts with BORAGE
Example: ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, piroxicam, aspirin, and others.
Precautions and Warnings:
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Pregnant women on their first and second trimesters, as well as breastfeeding mothers, must avoid taking Borage Products, due to the sensitivity of their condition. Only pregnant women on their 37th week onwards take Borage Oil (orally and intravaginal) for the purpose of Cervical Ripening, but within the supervision of their OB-GYNEs.
- Bleeding disorders: There is some concern that borage seed oil might prolong bleeding time and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. If you have a bleeding disorder, use borage with caution.
- Liver disease: Some borage products in the market contain hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) that might make liver disease worse.
Although the Blooming-G Borage Oil capsule was manufactured by Capsugel France with utmost quality to assure it safety & efficiency, we still recommend that those with liver disease, and patients under dialysis, to NOT take this product.
- Surgery: Borage might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. This product must NOT be taken at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. If taken after surgery, make sure to secure a go signal from your specialist.