Results of a new study reveal that two beneficial oils, safflower oil and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), can help postmenopausal diabetic women lose weight and lower blood sugar levels. The two oils were compared in a sixteen week study, each showing separate and distinct benefits for older, overweight diabetic women.
The new study showed that diabetic women can lose weight by supplementing with CLA and safflower oil. Each of the dietary oils contains polyunsaturated fat (PUFA). Consuming good fat in the right amounts has been associated with a variety of health benefits from past studies, including weight loss.
The newest study from Ohio State University researchers showed that women who simply took safflower oil supplements for sixteen weeks, lost 2-4 pounds of belly fat and lowered blood sugar levels an average of 11 to 19 points. Fat that accumulates in the mid section is the most harmful when it comes to diabetes and risk of cardiovascular disease.
Senior study author Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University says, “Making this subtle change in the intake of high-quality dietary fats in an effort to alter body composition is both achievable and affordable to postmenopausal women in the United States who are managing the difficult combination of obesity and diabetes. “ A simple change of diet to include beneficial oils is both attainable and achievable to promote weight loss and lower blood sugar levels for diabetic women.
Safflower oil promoted loss of belly fat, and CLA, found in highest quantities in grass fed beef and dairy, including eggs, helped with overall weight loss and reduced body fat in the women. For the study, the women were asked not to change their diet or exercise habits. One supplement was given for sixteen weeks, followed by the other to accurately measure the weight loss effect in the diabetic women studied. The women took one and two-thirds teaspoon of either oil.
“I never would have imagined such a finding. This study is the first to show that such a modest amount of a linoleic acid-rich oil may have a profound effect on body composition in women,” says Dr. Belury.
The benefit of safflower oil for weight loss may be due to the ability of the oil to increase a hormone called adiponectin which helps the body burn fat more efficiently. CLA may help the body burn calories more efficiently, suggested by animal studies.
The study showing that older diabetic women can improve health through weight loss, and by reducing belly fat, included thirty-five obese women, divided into two groups. None of the women cut back on calorie intake during the study. The researchers included a four week wash out period to find the real weight loss and blood sugar lowering benefits of the oils containing linoleic acid in the diabetic women.