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Starflower Oil & Menopause

By Jessica Bruso

Starflower oil, also called borage oil, is a good source of gamma-linolenic acid, which can have an anti-inflammatory effect. Although evening primrose oil, another source of GLA, is sometimes used in an effort to reduce the symptoms of menopause, evidence is limited for the benefits of using either of these oils for this purpose. Beneficial effects from starflower oil, if they occur, could take as long as six months to become evident. There are also some potential risks associated with starflower oil, so talk to your doctor before using this supplement.

Effect on Menopause Symptoms

A review article published in "Nutrition & Dietetics" in December 2005 found there wasn't enough evidence to recommend using evening primrose oil for hot flashes. Since it has the same potential effective ingredient as starflower oil, this oil likely won't be helpful for hot flashes either. Another article, published in "Prescriber" in July 2010, notes that starflower oil and evening primrose oil may be helpful for mood swings and breast tenderness, but probably aren't helpful for hot flashes.

Potential Side Effects

Starflower oil can have side effects, including bloating, diarrhea and belching. People who use blood thinners shouldn't use starflower oil because it may interact with these medications. This oil may also increase the likelihood of seizures in people who are on seizure medications.

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