Dihomo-gamma-linolenic Acid - Biological Effects

Biological Effects

The eicosanoid metabolites of DGLA are:

  • Series-1 thromboxanes (thromboxanes with 1 double-bond), via the COX-1 and COX-2 pathways.
  • Series-1 prostanoids, via the COX-1 and COX-2 pathways.
  • A 15-hydroxyl derivative that blocks the transformation of arachidonic acid to leukotrienes.

All of these effects are anti-inflammatory. This is in marked contrast with the analogous metabolites of arachidonic acid (AA), which are the series-2 thromboxanes and prostanoids and the series-4 leukotrienes. In addition to yielding anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, DGLA competes with AA for COX and lipoxygenase, inhibiting the production of AA's eicosanoids.

Taken orally in a small study, DGLA produced antithrombotic effects. Supplementing dietary GLA increases serum DGLA, as well as serum AA levels. Cosupplementation with GLA and EPA lowers serum AA levels by blocking Δ-5-desaturase activity, while also lowering leukotriene synthesis in neutrophils.

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