TweetBelly fat becomes problematic when the fat surrounds the organs also know as visceral fat drives the vicious cycle of inflammation, insulin resistance, and further fat deposition. All this can cause a great risk for stroke, heart disease and cancer.
With that being said, there is no wonder why people get excited about new research of a “magic bullet” to lose abdominal fat in the form of readily available safflower oil. So, the question is, should you go out and start taking safflower oil to lose belly fat? The answer for right now, is no. This is because the approach is based solely on the outcome of a single small study, an experiment whose weaknesses are significant.
You have to keep an open mind that good research is very difficult to do. The researchers that come up with this data are honored for their efforts – they have created a hypothesis that can and should be tested. That is not the same, on the other hand, as saying the results implicate that anyone who want to lose belly fat should be taking a safflower oil supplement.
According to the study, the effects of taking conjugated linoleic acid (CLA, an agent promoted for weight loss) and safflower oil over 2 sixteen-week periods were compared. By the end of trial, the researchers discovered that participants taking safflower oil experienced a significant loss of belly fat compared to those using CLA. Issues with the study started with the small number of participants (55) and the ones who dropped out (20). All the people in this study were postmenopausal women with type II diabetes, stressing the question of what the effects would be in men or younger women. Also, the safflower oil was compared to CLA, an agent that has been researched to increase insulin resistance – the comparison may not be fair from the start.
Above that, the sequence calls for some very basic assumptions about the kinds of fat in our diet. Omega-6 fatty acids are essential to our health, though they have been attacked in some circles due to lack of omega-3 fatty acids in Western-style diets. It is very important to get a good amount of omega-6s, found mostly in vegetable oils, as well as omega-3s, found in cold-water fish.
The truth is that omega-6s are already consumed in adequate amounts by the majority of the population, but we are still experiencing an epidemic of excess weight and obesity. In that case, why would increasing omega-6 intake lower our chances of accumulating belly fat? This just doesn’t make sense.
Research should encourage us to challenge long-held assumptions, that’s one way how medicine progresses. Montel Williams shared a compelling story about his experience with safflower oil but this doesn’t mean everyone will have the same outcome.
The research experiments that sparked interest in the safflower oil to help lose belly fat should raise interest and inspire the completion of further studies that include larger numbers of participants and better comparisons for longer periods of time.
Although there may be promise here, it’s still too early to jump on the safflower oil bandwagon and start using it yourself to lose belly fat.
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