The effect of gamma-linolenic acid on plasma and membrane lipids and renal prostaglandin synthesis in older subjects


Bratisl Lek Listy – 2002;103(3):101-7. Hornych A, Oravec S, Girault F, Forette B, Horrobin DF. Broussais Hospital, Paris, France. 


Senescence is associated with a decreased activity of enzyme delta-6 desaturase, which converts linoleic acid to gammalinolenic acid. This enzymatic defect may alter the composition of plasma and membrane lipids, and influences the biosynthesis of renal prostaglandins. Exogenous supplementation of GLA during 3 months increases the plasma level of dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (p < 0.002), and to a smaller degree, the level in erythrocyte membrane lipids. This treatment was associated with a beneficial reduction of cardiovascular risk factors (arterial hypertension, total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, HDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I) and the renal function has become stable reached. Epogam treatment also increased the biosynthesis of renal prostaglandins, especially that of prostaglandin E2, which has a vasodilatory effect on vessel walls and reduces the elevated blood pressure. CONCLUSION: Dietary supplementation of essential fatty acids such as gamma-linolenic acid to old subjects has beneficial effect on their health condition.