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Best Evening Primrose Oil 2024: Top 5 Choices

The age-old use of evening primrose oil (EPO) has continued to this day with abundant products on the market. Even though the scientific evidence supporting EPO is weak, this plant has deep connections with tradition, especially its anti-inflammatory properties and purported support for women's health.

Finding the best evening primrose oil involves examining numerous critical factors that influence its effectiveness and quality. Considering all the brands out there, evaluating the purity of the ingredients, verifying safety certifications, and considering the genuine experiences of users are key aspects to think about.

In this article, we seek to uncover the essence of why evening primrose oil is widely used, focusing on its abundant gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content and potential benefits.

We set out to highlight the best evening primrose oil supplements, selected through stringent standards and the potential to promote wellness.

Best evening primrose oil: shortlist

  1. Sports Research — overall best evening primrose oil
  2. Nutricost — best evening primrose oil for skin wellness
  3. Bodybio — best evening primrose oil in either capsule or oil form
  4. Swanson — top rated evening primrose oil
  5. GNC — best cold-pressed evening primrose oil
  6. BulkSupplements — best evening primrose oil for those on a budget
  7. Puritan's Pride — best evening primrose oil focusing on women’s health

How we compiled our list of the best evening primrose oil?

Ingredient qualityCustomer reviewsPriceSafetyForm
Purity and origin of ingredientsGenuine, numerous feedback from users$0.10–0.80 per servingCompliance with safety standardsCapsule or liquid form
  • Ingredient quality. The best evening primrose oil brands will guarantee the purity and organic sourcing of their ingredients. Such an origin statement ensures the best organic evening primrose oil free from unnecessary additives.
  • Customer reviews. User testimonials provide insight into the real-world experiences and satisfaction levels of any evening primrose oil supplement, guiding you to those most appreciated by consumers.
  • Price. Affordability without compromising on quality is key. Look for the best evening primrose oil that offers a harmonious balance between cost and quality.
  • Safety. Prefer brands that demonstrate adherence to stringent safety and quality standards. Only supplements that meet or exceed regulatory guidelines can be trusted to be safe for consumption.
  • Form. Consider your preferences and choose a product that suits your lifestyle. Brands offer the best organic evening primrose oil capsules or as a liquid oil form, catering to different user preferences.

Best evening primrose oil: an overview

To better illustrate our selection criteria, we review five top picks that we think are worth your consideration. We scrutinized the following brands based on their ingredient origin, organic certifications, quality testing, customer reviews, and price-to-value ratio. Read on to learn our findings.

1. Sports Research — overall best evening primrose oil

Sports Research Evening Primrose Supplement

Sports Research Evening Primrose supplement is designed to support women’s health. Each softgel contains 1300 mg of cold-pressed evening primrose oil, containing 10% gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). According to the brand, this essential fatty acid may help support hormonal balance and skin health, yet the scientific evidence to support these claims is lacking. These softgels are available in convenient one-a-day unflavored softgels and are gluten-free, soy-free, and hexane-free.

Manufactured in cGMP-compliant facilities in the USA, Sports Research ensures high-quality standards with non-GMO and third-party tested products. Based on brand claims, the cold-pressed extraction method preserves the oil’s beneficial nutrients without harsh chemicals, providing you with the essential fatty acids necessary for optimal health.

Priced at $19.76 for a bottle of 120 softgels, this supplement provides a reliable source of evening primrose oil for daily use. Customers can subscribe for a 15% discount, with flexible delivery and free shipping on orders over $50.

2. Nutricost — best evening primrose oil for skin wellness

Nutricost Evening Primrose Oil

Nutricost Evening Primrose Oil provides a potent 1300 mg dose of cold-pressed oil per softgel, standardized to 10% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid.

According to the brand, this supplement may be used to support women's health and skin wellness, offering a natural source of beneficial fatty acids. Each bottle contains 120 high-quality, gluten-free, non-GMO softgels, and this 3-bottle bundle ensures you have an ample supply for your wellness regimen.

Manufactured in GMP-compliant and FDA-registered facilities, Nutricost ensures consistent quality and third-party testing for safety. Additionally, these softgels are soy-free and easy to swallow, providing a convenient daily supplement.

Priced at $44.95 for three bottles and $14.98 for a bottle, Nutricost offers excellent value and reliability for those seeking a quality evening primrose oil supplement.

3. Bodybio — best evening primrose oil in either capsule or oil form

Bodybio Evening Primrose Oil

Bodybio offers their evening primrose oil as softgels or a liquid and thus stands out as the only brand on our list that gives such an option.

Providing nearly 2000 mg of evening primrose oil either in the form of two softgels or ½ of a teaspoon, Bodybio claims to bring support for inflammatory conditions with this supplement. The brand also states that the evening primrose oil may help to support hormonal changes, respiratory, and dermatological health, although the scientific backing for such EPO benefits is weak and mixed.

When it comes to quality, Bodybio manufactures its supplement in a US-based, FDA-registered, and inspected facility. This means that the manufacturing process is GMP-certified, and the quality of the end product is always consistent. While the brand claims to perform stringent quality testing in-house, some buyers may be turned away by the lack of third-party testing data displayed online.

Customer reviews are generally positive and indicate high customer satisfaction.

A bottle of 90 capsule servings costs $65.99 ($0.73 per serving). A bottle of 96 oil servings costs $52.99 ($0.55 per serving).

4. Swanson — top rated evening primrose oil

Swanson Evening Primrose Oil

Swanson's Evening Primrose Oil contains 1300 mg of EPO and is a premium supplement claiming to enhance hormone balance, skin health, and joint mobility, despite weak scientific evidence for such activity. A serving of a single softgel offers a robust dose of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a crucial omega-6 fatty acid purportedly offering anti-inflammatory support.

Swanson operates an NSF-registered GMP manufacturing facility, ensuring there is consistency in their products and manufacturing is uniform. The brand also claims that all of its products undergo third-party testing, although no such analysis data is provided online. Numerous direct customer responses offer a glimpse into customer satisfaction, and most users give Swanson’s EPO product top feedback.

Note that the supplement is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans due to its gelatin softgel capsule.

A bottle with 100 capsules costs $15.99 ($0.16 per capsule).

5. GNC — best cold-pressed evening primrose oil

GNC Evening Primrose Oil

GNC positions its evening primrose oil softgel capsules as a premium product, and rightfully so. The product is made with a carefully adjusted process of cold pressing the evening primrose seeds to preserve all the ingredients found within. Such a manufacturing process is not commonly employed, making GNC stand out among the evening primrose oil manufacturer crowd. A serving of a single softgel provides 1300 mg of EPO.

GNC does not state details of its product manufacturing process or any quality testing on the product page. However, the customer reviews on the product page are very positive, indicating the buyers’ satisfaction with this brand.

Note that the supplement is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans due to its gelatin softgel capsule.

A bottle with 180 servings costs $39.99 ($0.22 per serving).

6. BulkSupplements — best evening primrose oil for those on a budget

BulkSupplements.com Evening Primrose Oil Softgels

BulkSupplements offer its evening primrose oil in softgels. Each softgel contains 1300 mg of evening primrose oil. While scientific evidence for the following is limited, the benefits claimed by the manufacturer may include bolstering women's health, easing menopause symptoms, and, alongside anti-inflammatory benefits, enhancing immune function and supporting cardiovascular health.

While customer reviews are scarce and do not allow us to draw any conclusions about user satisfaction, the supplement’s quality is outstanding. BulkSupplements produces its evening primrose oil softgels in an NSF-certified and FDA-registered cGMP manufacturing facility. This ensures that there is no variation in product quality between batches. Additionally, the brand claims to perform third-party testing on all of its products, although no testing results are displayed online.

Note that the supplement is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans due to its gelatin softgel capsule.

A bottle with 120 servings costs $17.96 ($0.15 per serving).

7. Puritan's Pride — best evening primrose oil focusing on women’s health

Puritan’s Pride offers their evening primrose oil at a strength of 1300 mg per softgel. The brand claims that its product may provide nutritional support for women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and it may also play a role in promoting smooth, healthy-looking skin. While these claims are not supported by the scientific literature, the customer reviews support the brand and indicate user satisfaction. Most users would recommend the product to others and give it a top rating.

Puritan’s Pride uses certified organic, cold-pressed evening primrose oil in their supplement. The brand manufactures its supplement in a GMP-certified facility and performs rigorous quality control in-house, although it does not provide information on third-party testing.

The brand recommends taking 1 capsule five times daily with meals, which is a substantial commitment and may be hard to follow for some. Also, the supplement is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans due to its gelatin softgel capsule.

One hundred twenty capsules cost $35.99 ($0.30 per serving).

Comparison of the best evening primrose oils

BrandPrice per bottlePrice per servingNumber of servingsServing sizeThird-party tested
Sports Research $19.76$0.161201 softgelYes, but no CoA available on the website
Nutricost$14.98$0.121201 softgelYes, but no CoA available on the website
Bodybio$65.99$0.73901 capsuleNo
Swanson$15.99$0.161001 capsuleYes, but no CoA available on the website
GNC$39.99$0.221201 capsuleNo
BulkSupplements$17.96$0.151201 capsuleYes, but no CoA available on the website
Puritan's Pride$35.99$0.301201 capsuleNo

What is evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil, extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose plant, is renowned for its high gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content, a beneficial omega-6 fatty acid. This plant extract has a long history of use in various cultures for its potential health-supporting properties, particularly in addressing inflammatory conditions.

The evening primrose, recognized by its yellow flowers that bloom at night, has deep roots in traditional medicine worldwide. It has been traditionally used to alleviate skin issues and balance hormones. Today, its oil remains a popular natural supplement, carrying forward a legacy of healing practices, although the scientific backing for evening primrose oil benefits is weak.

More on gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), one of the key bioactive components in evening primrose oil, is an essential omega-6 fatty acid. GLA is celebrated for its unique ability to address body's inflammatory processes. It works by being converted in the body into substances that may help reduce inflammation.

Research is also exploring GLA's potential in enhancing skin barrier function and hydration, alongside investigating its role as an add-on treatment to rosacea. However, these studies focused on pure GLA, rather than evening primrose oil. Nevertheless, they highlight GLA's significance for individuals seeking natural methods to support their health, especially regarding inflammation.

Health benefits of evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil is revered for its potential to address a spectrum of health concerns, primarily due to its rich gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content. This natural supplement is explored for its alleged capacity to support inflammatory conditions, potentially play a part in easing menopause symptoms, and alleviating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) discomforts.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties. In theory, the GLA in evening primrose oil may modulate the body's inflammatory processes. It's thought that GLA can convert into substances that soothe inflammation, offering a natural approach to managing conditions characterized by inflammation. This action makes evening primrose oil interesting for those seeking to gently support their body's health. Traditional medicine included evening primrose oil in its routines, and scientific research has limited evidence to support its inflammatory properties.
  • Support menopause symptoms. For many experiencing the transition of menopause, evening primrose oil has traditionally been used to support these symptoms. It is hypothesized that the oil's fatty acids may help balance hormonal fluctuations and alleviate common symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings. While the scientific results are mixed and of limited significance, the evening primrose oil’s potential to smooth the menopausal journey has gained attention from many seeking natural support during this phase of life.
  • Address symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The discomforts of PMS affect numerous women, and evening primrose oil is often turned to for its potential to ease these symptoms. Some theorized that the GLA in evening primrose oil may help with hormonal balance, potentially reducing PMS symptoms like bloating, mood swings, and tenderness, although there is a lack of significant scientific results that evening primrose supports PMS symptoms.

Safety and regulations of evening primrose oil supplements

The safety and regulation of evening primrose oil supplements are overseen by various health authorities worldwide, ensuring that products meet specific standards for quality and purity. When purchasing these supplements, look for certifications from reputable organizations such as the US Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or the Non-GMO Project.

These certifications indicate that the product has undergone rigorous testing for contaminants and potency, aligning with stringent safety guidelines. Additionally, consumers should verify that the supplement adheres to the regulations set by health regulatory bodies, such as the FDA in the United States, to ensure they choose a safe and reliable product.

What to know before taking evening primrose oil supplements: usage, storage and side effects

When it comes to usage and storage of the evening primrose oil, generally, follow the recommended dosage on the product label and consult a healthcare provider to tailor it to your specific needs. Store the supplement in a dark, cool, dry place to maintain the product’s consistency.

While evening primrose oil is well-tolerated by many, some individuals may experience mild side effects such as upset stomach, headache, or nausea. Evening primrose oil may interact with some medications, such as blood thinners. Thus, it's crucial to discuss evening primrose oil use with a healthcare professional, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication, to avoid any adverse interactions.

Best evening primrose oil — our conclusion

In conclusion, identifying the best evening primrose oil hinges on factors like GLA content, organic certification, and user testimonials. While brands like Swanson and GNC stand out from the general crowd, the ideal choice depends on individual health goals and preferences.

It is clear that evening primrose oil needs further research in humans to ensure its safety and to support potential health benefits.

Additionally, it is essential to consider potential interactions with other supplements or medications, and it’s best to discuss it with your healthcare provider before including evening primrose oil in your wellness routine.

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