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Study says safflower oil helps prevent heart disease, reduce inflammation

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: safflower oil, inflammation, health news

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(NaturalNews) A diet supplemented with a daily dose of safflower oil may help improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar, elevate "good" cholesterol, lower inflammation, and ultimately prevent heart disease, says a new study out of Ohio State University (OSU). Researchers there noted considerable improvement among obese, postmenopausal women with type-2 diabetes who took roughly 1 2/3 teaspoons of safflower oil a day for 16 weeks.

Martha Belury and her colleagues from OSU originally tested the effects of safflower oil, which is high in linoleic acid, on a group of women as part of a 2009 study (http://www.naturalnews.com/026599_body_fat_w...). For the current study, Belury and her colleagues took a more focused approach and specifically examined the original results to see how safflower oil affected other metabolic measures associated with type-2 diabetes, and how long it took to have an effect.

Upon analysis, supplementation with safflower oil appeared to increase insulin sensitivity by 2.7 percent; decrease levels of the blood protein HbA1C, which is a marker of long-term excess glucose in the blood, by .64 percent; decrease C-reactive protein levels, which indicate inflammation, by 17.5 percent; lower fasting blood sugar levels by between 11 and 19 points on average; and increase HDL "good' cholesterol levels by 14 percent on average -- all within 16 weeks.

"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," said Belury. "We suspect it could be through a mechanism that is not yet identified."

Because safflower oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are already too prevalent in the average American diet, it is important to make sure that any consumption of safflower oil is properly balanced with other oils high in omega-3s. Hemp oil, for instance, happens to have a highly beneficial balance of both omega-3s and omega-6s built right into it. And of course, cod liver and fish oils are naturally high in omega-3s (http://www.naturalnews.com/omega-3.html).

Sources for this story include:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-...

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