Research Shows Safflower Oil Helping Type 2 Diabetics: Safflower oil, which can be found in many kitchens around the world, is finding its name on headlines this week. Thanks to a recent study, a person who takes a daily dose of safflower oil for 16 weeks can improve cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity and blood sugar. It is also helpful in women who are obese postmenopausal and have type 2 diabetes.
Eighteen months prior, researchers found that safflower was also helpful in decreasing abdominal fat and increasing muscle tissue. It is also in association with increased health in patients suffering from metabolic syndrome, which have a cluster of symptoms from heart disease to diabetes.
With this study, the chief researcher suggested that a person suffering from cardiovascular disease or at risk for the disease could safely lessen their risk or symptoms by taking a daily dose of 1 2/3 teaspoons of safflower oil.
Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University said, “The women in the study didn’t replace what was in their diet with safflower oil. They added it to what they were already doing. And that says to me that certain people need a little more of this type of good fat — particularly when they’re obese women who already have diabetes. I believe these findings suggest that people consciously make sure they get a serving of healthy oil in their diets each day- maybe an oil and vinegar dressing on a salad, or some oil for cooking. And this recommendation can be extended to everyone.”
When broken down, safflower oil is found to have linoleic acid, a poly saturated fatty acid. In the 1960’s research suggested that dietary oils from plants could help prevent heart disease. However, in recent years Omega-3 fish oils have gained huge popularity of fatty oils like safflower oil.
“The health benefits of omega-3 PUFAs seem convincing, but I think there’s also a place for omega-6 PUFAs. We’ve known for a long time that polyunsaturated oils are very beneficial for cardiovascular disease prevention, and these data we are adding now show that these oils can also help with other aspects of metabolic syndrome, including even glycemic control, we suspect it could be through a mechanism that is not yet identified.” Belury commented.
During the research, scientists performed secondary analysis of the data that has been collected within the trial. They checked to see how long it took for effects to be seen. Every four weeks, blood samples were taken. Sixteen weeks later, a reduction was noted in total body fat and body mass index as well.
“We don’t know the long-term effects of safflower oil from this study alone, but I certainly think it’s possible that the risk for cardiovascular problems could be significantly decreased in this high-risk group if supplementation were continued,” Belury said.