Objective: Dietary supplementation with evening primrose oil and fish oils have been shown to be beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated whether dietary supplementation with borage(starflower) oil could be substituted for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), without exacerbation/worsening of clinical measures of disease activity in patients with RA. Methods: 28 patients were enrolled in the study. 14 patients received GLA-containing oil and 14 placebo. Patients were reviewed at 4, 12, 24 and 36 weeks and asked to gradually reduce their NSAID dose only if this did not exacerbate RA symptoms. Disease activity was assessed clinically using the Ritchie articular index (RAI), grip strength, duration of morning stiffness, 10cm visual analogue pain scale and subjective response. Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C - reactive protein (CRP) were measured also. Results: Patient-centered outcomes were improved on active treatment, with a significant reduction in pain (p=0.0013, student's 2-tailed t-test), improvement in well being (Pearson Chi Square 6.8, p=0.032; likelihood-ratio Chi Square 7.2, p=0.027). There was a trend towards reduced NSAID requirement in the borage oil group (p=0.066, student's 2-tailed t-test). Conclusion: This study suggests that Borage oil does has a beneficial effect on controlling pain.
Kumar, P., Strang, A., Ho, M., Maple, C., Radederstoff, D., Morley, K., & Belch, J. (2008). The effects of borage oil supplementation on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug requirements in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.2202/1553-3840.1133