Safflower Oil Improves Glycemia, Inflammation, Lipids

Better than conjugated linoleic acid against diabetes risks in postmenopausal obese women

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with safflower (SAF) oil improves glycemia, inflammation, and blood lipids compared to treatment with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in postmenopausal obese women, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in Clinical Nutrition.

Michelle L. Asp, M.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues compared the effect of CLA and SAF oils on glycemia, blood lipids, and inflammation in postmenopausal obese women with type 2 diabetes. The randomized cross-over study included 35 women who were treated with 8 g daily of CLA or SAF for 16 weeks each. A multiple testing procedure using predetermined steps analysis was used to identify the earliest time that a significant effect was observed.

The investigators found that SAF caused a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1c and C-reactive protein, and a significant increase in QUICKI (a surrogate marker of insulin sensitivity), after a minimum of 16 weeks. CLA had no effect on any of these markers. SAF also significantly increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, detected after a minimum of 12 weeks. CLA and SAF supplementation increased c9t11-CLA, t10c12-CLA, and linoleic acid, detected after a minimum of four weeks.

"Inclusion of a small amount of readily available and inexpensive safflower oil into the diet may have meaningful effects on clinically important risk factors in the management of diabetes and prevention of diabetes-related complications," the authors write.

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