GLA is a "Very" Essential Fat Fatty acids are good fats for optimal health. Unfortunately the North American diet is made up predominantly of bad fats from red meats and processed foods. To make matters worse when an enzyme in the body is impaired we can't make the good fats GLA, EPA or DHA. We can overcome this problem by eating fish or fish oils that contain EPA and DHA but when it comes to GLA the only way to get this important fatty acid is to take it in a nutritional supplement. GLA (gamma linolenic acid) is found in borage oil (20 to 24%) and to a lesser extent evening primrose oil (8 to 10%). GLA is not found in food in high enough quantities to maintain our needs through diet alone. GLA Eases Cramps and Breast Pain GLA deficiency is a major cause of PMS. A healthy body creates GLA via an enzyme from fats such as sunflower oil into prostaglandins, which are hormone-like compounds that regulate blood clotting, inflammation and muscle contraction. Just before menstruation a cascade of prostaglandins are initiated in the uterus which causes the constriction of blood vessels and contractions that cause pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting, bloating and headaches that coincide with PMS. There are good prostaglandins and bad prostaglandins. Painful menstruation and breast pain are caused by low levels of good anti-inflammatory prostaglandins which are made from GLA. In many women with breast pain and terrible PMS their ability to make GLA is often impaired. One trial done at the breast clinic at the University of Hong Kong used GLA for the treatment of cyclical breast pain. Of the 66 women in the study 97% responded to treatment with GLA after 6 months. Further studies have found unusually low concentrations of GLA in the women suffering with period cramps and breast pain. The recommended dose is 1000-2000 mg of GLA per day.