Blackcurrant seed oil
Blackcurrant seed oil is a nutritional supplement. It’s rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are important for maintaining joints’ cell structure and function, and can fight joint inflammation. Blackcurrant oil is thought to be relatively well-tolerated, but the little available evidence suggests that it may not be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
What is it?
Family: Nutritional supplement from the Saxifragaceae family
Scientific name: Ribes nigrum
Other names: Quinsy berries, squinancy berries, cassis, red currant, European blackcurrant, mustaherukka, grosellero negro, siyah frenkuzumu
The blackcurrant plant is native to northern parts of Europe and Asia. Its berries are a very dark purple and contain seeds. The berries and leaves are used for maintaining health and treating several diseases. You can buy capsules and bottled oil over the counter or over the internet from UK-based suppliers.
How does it work?
Oil produced from blackcurrant seeds contains 13% omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and 17% omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is an essential fatty acid that’s important for maintaining a joint’s cell structure and function. Your body converts it into hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which regulate your immune system and fight joint inflammation. GLA might also suppress inflammatory responses by directly acting on some inflammatory cells.
Is it safe?
No studies appear to have been done to assess the safety of blackcurrant seed oil in people with musculoskeletal conditions, but studies on other GLA-rich oils suggest that they’re relatively well tolerated with no serious side-effects. How it might affect other drugs hasn’t been well studied and no trials have been done to find the best dosage of blackcurrant seed oil for musculoskeletal conditions, although trials have used doses of 3 g a day and 10.5 g a day.
Blackcurrant seed oil trials for rheumatoid arthritis
A summary of the scientific evidence on blackcurrant seed oil for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Read more
References for the evidence on blackcurrant seed oil. Read more