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Dr Russ Blog - Safflower Oil to Reduce Abdominal Fat? Maybe, Just Not Yet
Safflower Oil to Reduce Abdominal Fat? Maybe, Just Not Yet
Created on 1/6/2012

You've heard about omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids before, but some of the information bears repeating, especially in light of information that has been making the rounds regarding safflower oil and abdominal fat.

Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential fats - in other words, they cannot be made within the body and so must be obtained through the diet. Omega-6s come mainly from vegetable oils, including safflower oil, and omega-3s are best obtained from cold water, oily fish (think Alaskan salmon).

Both fatty acids are important and needed for optimal health. Some people get more omega-6s than they need, and most people ingest fewer omega 3s than is healthy for them. But, again, BOTH are necessary for optimal health.

Recently, research produced by an excellent research team brought to light the possibility of using safflower oil to help reduce abdominal fat. The findings are interesting, intriguing, and puzzling - why, in a day and age when omega-6 fatty acids are readily available and frequently eaten, and when so many of us are overweight, would adding MORE omega-6s to the diet help us lose body fat?

And yet, that's what this early research suggests - that safflower oil may help people lose fat, especifically abdominal fat (though not necessarily lose weight).

But hold on - there are significant issues with the research that lessen confidence in the conclusions reached, including the small number of people involved in the study. It is WAY too early to go out and start taking safflower oil, or safflower oil supplements, to lose body fat based on this single research trial.

Again, there's promise in the findings, and ultimately it may be found that safflower oil has a role to play in spot reducing abdominal fat, but I wouldn't recommend using safflower oil for this reason until we have more research into the question of safflower oil's long-term effects and safety.

It's always best to wait for more data before jumping on any new health bandwagon - and that's what I recommend in this instance. The researchers have a done a great job of bringing up an important topic to be researched further - their findings should not be acted upon just yet, however, in my opinion.

In the meantime, follow an anti-inflammatory / Mediterranean-style diet, exercise a little every day, get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and manage your stress in healthy ways - not too exciting, but very effective for weight loss and body fat reduction.

Be well.
Dr. Russ
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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