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Evening Primrose Oil

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Evening Primrose plant

Evening Primrose plant

"Why it’s Important to the health of a Bodybuilder" - Nelson Montana


Also known as “Oenothera biennis”, Evening Primrose oil (EPO) is regarded by many scientists and researchers as the most significant preventive discovery since vitamin C.  It contains the pain relieving compound phenylalanine and is increasingly being used to treat chronic headaches.  Currently, it is being studied all over the world as a treatment for aging problems, alcoholism, acne, heart disease, hyperactivity multiple sclerosis, and weight control.  Its effect on cholesterol management is mainly for the reduction of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.  People who take medication for hypertension are advised to take a much lower dose if using Evening Primrose oil because it may cause too low of a drop in pressure. (Proving its effectiveness)

Evening primrose oil may also interact with certain medicines used to treat depression, suggesting it helps in that regard as well.  In fact, it has so many preventive and therapeutic qualities that it has become a standard part of recommendations of many herbalist for maintaining youth, preventing disease, combating fatigue and damage to the nervous system.

How it Works

Evening Primrose Oil contains a high concentration of a fatty acid called GLA, and it is this fatty acid that is largely responsible for the remarkable healing properties — a tremendous asset to over-trained athletes.  In fact, Evening Primrose contains one of the highest concentrations known of this important substance and only a few other plants contain it at all.  The gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients in this oil are essential for cell structure and improve the elasticity of the skin.  These fatty acids also help to regulate hormones and improve nerve function aiding problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches.  This makes Evening Primrose an important medicinal herb, and as studies continue, the list of benefits will likely become much longer since more and more is being discovered concerning the benefits of GLA.

Use in Traditional and Herbal medicine

Native Americans used the seeds, leaves and roots of Evening Primrose for food.  They also made poultices from the whole plant to heal bruises, and decoctions of the roots to treat hemorrhoids.  The leaves were employed to treat minor wounds, gastrointestinal complaints, and sore throats.  It wasn't until the 1930s that the oil began to be used widely to address many different health problems including brittle nails and hair, eczema, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.  Doctors even prescribe it for chronic fatigue and obesity.

Bodybuilding Applications

Anyone who trains hard can benefit from Evening Primrose Oil, but it’s especially useful for those who use anabolic steroids.  It helps control the huge spike in LDL cholesterol, which can results form steroid use.  Also, it has shown to improve joint flexibility (a must with certain oral steroids such as winstrol) as well as reducing the inflammation and catabolic stress from hard training.  In addition, Evening Primrose Oil may work as a slight diuretic, removing excess water (and potential hypertension) that occurs during steroid use.

Dosage: 200 milligrams (mgs) has shown positive benefits though one can go up to 1,000 milligrams a day.

Side Effects:  EPO has virtually no ill side effects except that some people experience stomach upset on more than 1,000 mgs a day.

Where to Find it

Evening Primrose Oil is available at most Health Food Stores.  However, it's best used as part of a supplement stack in N2Guard.

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nelson montana
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Nelson Montana is a classical bodybuilder and an industry expert. He was one of the first in the 1990s to write about bodybuilding. He's written for large magazines, like T-Nation and has been on multiple editorial boards. Nelson is a certified personal trainer, he has over 40 years of experience, and he's a senior bodybuilding champion, natural! He's over 60 and he looks amazing.

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