Evening primrose oil may benefit postmenopausal women with psychological symptoms
Evening primrose oil supplement confers potential benefits for psychological symptoms, including depressive mood, irritability and anxiety, among others, during menopause, a study has found.
A total of 189 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to receive either 1,000 mg of evening primrose oil capsules or matching placebo daily for 8 weeks. Researchers used the psychological subscale of the Menopause Rating Scale to evaluate psychological symptoms.
The mean baseline psychological score was similar in the two groups. However, a significant difference emerged at the end of the intervention, in favour of the evening primrose oil group (p<0.01).
Supplementation with evening primrose oil led to a significant reduction in the mean psychological score at week 8. The mean difference vs placebo was −3.44 (95 percent confidence interval, −4.01 to −1.20; p<0.01).
In addition, only one patient discontinued using evening primrose oil due to gastric upset. There were no adverse events documented in the control group.
The findings show the potential of evening primrose oil for treating psychological symptoms in postmenopausal women, the researchers said. “Longer trials are necessary to make more reliable decisions about the use of evening primrose oil and its safety in clinical practice.”
Rich in linoleic acid (omega-3) and gamolenic acid (a precursor of prostaglandin E), evening primrose oil exerts its therapeutic effects through the direct effects of omega-3 on immune cells and its indirect effects on the synthesis of eicosanoids. [Nutrients 2010;2:128-170; Am Fam Physician 2009;80:1405-1408]