Linoleic Acid and Safflower Oil: Two Dietary Oils Proven to Burn Fat

April's picture

You may have heard that some dietary oils can help you trim extra inches, but are the rumors true?

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Safflower oil (SAF) are being used as dietary supplements because clinical studies show that they reduce body weight and promote fat loss. A study published in September 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effect of linoleic acid and safflower oil on weight loss in obese post menopausal women.

Researching Linoleic Acid And Safflower Oil for Weight Loss

A total of 55 overweight, postmenopausal women from the Columbus area participated in the study.

  • They were all clinically obese, each with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30.
  • Each participant took a total of 8 grams of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) or safflower oil (SAF) daily in the form of 8 capsules: 2 capsules with each meal and 2 capsules at night. SAF is a natural source of palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid and therefore SAF capsules consisted of a  mixture of these oils . CLA capluses contained mainly conjugated linoleic acid.
  • The study ran for 36 weeks: two 16-week dieting periods separated by a 4-week resting period.

Can Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) And Safflower (SAF) Oil Help You Lose Weight?

Linoleic acid (conjugated) did better at reducing participants’ all-over body fat, while safflower oil did better at reducing fat in the torso.

Safflower oil participants lost an average of 6.3 percent of their torso fat and gained lean mass. That’s particularly significant because the risk of losing lean tissue muscle mass increases in women after menopause.

Linoleic acid participants lost weight as well, but they didn’t add any lean mass.

It is noteworthy that these effects occurred without any change in diet or exercise habits.

During the course of the study, the participants’ weight loss didn’t slow or stop, as usually happens to anyone who sets out to lose weight. The researchers suspect that people who take dietary oil supplements for an even longer period of time could lose even more weight.

Here is an excerpt from the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

“This study is the first to show that such a modest amount (~1 teaspoon or 8 mL) of a linoleic acid–rich oil may have a profound effect on body composition in women. Although CLA reduced total body adiposity, SAF reduced trunk adipose mass in both diet periods. The loss observed in our study (1.20 and 1.90 kg) translates to an average loss of 6.3% of starting adipose mass of the trunk region. To our knowledge, this magnitude of reduction has not been reported in an intervention that used a linoleic acid–rich oil. Furthermore, SAF increased total body lean tissue mass (gains averaging 1.4 and 0.6 kg, an ~1.6% increase from starting lean mass). Importantly, the effect of SAF was independent of diet or activity changes.”

Not Just Weight Loss

Better Insulin Sensitivity – Lower Glucose Levels
Safflower oil lowered the levels of glucose in participants’ blood, and improved their insulin sensitivity. Because both elevated glucose and insulin resistance can be caused by excess stomach fat, safflower oil could have caused the reduction of glucose and insulin resistance by burning stomach fat.

Increased Adiponectin Levels
Those who took safflower oil showed a 20 percent increase in the levels of adiponectin, a hormone that regulates fatty acid catabolism. Generally, losing weight greatly increases the amount of adiponectin found in your bloodstream. Participants who took linoleic acid didn’t experience any significant changes in their adiponectin levels.

Dietary Oils Are A Beneficial Supplement, Especially For Postmenopausal Women

Losing stomach fat (belly fat) can be especially tricky after menopause because of hormonal changes that lead to weight gain. Women gain more fat during this time, with much of their weight gain shifting to the stomach—a particularly dangerous location for body fat.

Excess stomach fat can increase anyone’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders that increase the odds of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes. According to the study “at a dose of 6.4 g/d, conjugated linoleic acid has a significant effect on lowering body weight and total adipose mass without altering lean tissue mass in obese postmenopausal women who are not also on a weight-loss diet or exercise plan”

Losing weight is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing other medical conditions. As the study shows, a daily dose of linoleic acid or safflower oil can help make the task a bit easier. Unlike many over-the-counter remedies, dietary oils are safe for just about anyone, making them a good way to help your body burn more fat.
The study concludes:

“Our findings suggest that dietary supplementation of oils rich in the n26 linoleic acid decreases trunk adipose, increases lean tissue mass, and improves glycemic control which may reduce the risk of heart disease as well as other comorbidities from poorly controlled diabetes. Our data also suggest that at a dose of 6.4 g/d, CLA has a significant effect on lowering body weight and total adipose mass without altering lean tissue mass in obese postmenopausal women who are not also on a weight-loss diet or exercise plan. The use of lower doses of CLA over longer durations of intervention may prove to be an effective weight-loss aid.”..."Supplementation with these SAF dietary oils may be beneficial for weight loss, glycemic control, or both"

The study “Comparison of dietary conjugated linoleic acid with safflower oil on body composition in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus” was lead by Leigh E Norris and was conducted at the Ohio State University.

Where Can I Get The Best Price?

You can find Safflower Oil and Linoleic Acid (CLA) at Amazon.

Ever since Dr. Oz was touting

Ever since Dr. Oz was touting this, my father was asking me if this was an okay product to use for weight loss. I should say that I have great disdain for Dr. Oz's recommendations, as I find they aren't always based in scientific fact and might be harmful to elderly patients, but I digress.

Doing some actual research into this topic, the results of that study look promising, but it can't be applied for everyone, as they only looked at a small sample of post menopausal women (only 35). We don't know if this actually worked in men, or younger women with wieght issues. We don't really know if it can be applied for diabetics, that needs to be studied separately. And as the nature of the trial (a crossover), it's not as reliable as a randomized clinical trial. There could've been some carry over effects happening between wash out periods that weren't taken into account. Further study is definitely needed before it can be actually recommended as a weight loss aid.

As a pharmacist, I would suggest that if you are going to start supplementing your diet with CLA or safflower oil, do check with your doctor or pharmacist before doing it. Also do keep in mind, that since it is a natural supplement, it's not FDA regulated. So you may not be getting the dosage of CLA or Safflower oil as being advertised on the bottle (so if you want to get the bang for your buck, check for the USP stamp of approval). Remember peeps, natural foods aren't drugs, and hence aren't held up to the same stringent guidelines as drugs.

Still the best cure for weight loss is diet modification and some good old fashioned exercise. There is no quick fix. But you can do it with some dedication and hard work. Good luck! :)

I have been taken saf slim

I have been taken saf slim for 3 days and have lost 1/2 an inch already, my diet has not changed. You take 1 tablespoon twice a day, I am seeing results so I am a believer. It comes in Berry Creme or Tangerine Creme flavors, it is thick I find it's easier to stir in my drink. You can buy it at health food stores in 16 ounces bottle at $25, yes it is pricey but worth it!!

Am I suppose to take the

Am I suppose to take the safflower oil with each meal or just once daily!!

What the article doesn't

What the article doesn't state is that in the study, out of the 55 women, 20 of them dropped out. If this really worked, wouldn't you think that everyone would be doing this and we wouldn't have any overweight people in the world? Everyone is looking for a quick fix and the only way to get healthy is to work your butts off!

SafSlim vs CLA capsules

Should I take both of these or will one or the other be sufficient?

Safslim v CLA Capsules

I am going to try one of them not both at the same time. One of them should be enough. I will work with one and see if there is any change, of course I will take my measurements first. No one has mentioned whether taking this/these will have an affect on the appetite or whether it will have you going to the bathroom as a laxative effect. There is a such thing of over doing a thing, you cannot take but so much laxatives at a time. Too much getting rid of, I think you will be losing some of the nutrients your body has especiall if you are on meds. So I am going to move slow on this and give it a try.

Safflower Oil and Weight Loss

Great article! Alot of great scientific evidence about these two oils and how they help weight loss. I would strongly recommend Safflower Oil to help with any weight loss program. If anyone is looking for Natural Safflower Oil check out Genceutic Naturals:



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