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Two dietary oils, two sets of benefits for older women with diabetes
Date:7/7/2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio A study comparing how two common dietary oil supplements affect body composition suggests that both oils, by themselves, can lower body fat in obese postmenopausal women with Type 2 diabetes.

The two oils compared were safflower oil, a common cooking oil, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a compound naturally found in some meat and dairy products that has been associated with weight loss in previous studies. Both are composed primarily of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are considered "good fats" that, when consumed in proper quantities, are associated with a variety of health benefits.

In the study, 16 weeks of supplementation with safflower oil reduced fat in the trunk area, lowered blood sugar and increased muscle tissue in the women participants.

Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for the same length of time, on the other hand, reduced total body fat and lowered the women's body mass index (BMI), a common health measure of weight relative to height.

All of the women in the study took one oil for 16 weeks, followed by the other oil for an equal amount of time. The participants were instructed not to change their diets or exercise patterns over the course of the study so the research would measure the effects of only the supplementation.

"Making this subtle change in the intake of high-quality dietary fats in an effort to alter body composition is both achievable and affordable to postmenopausal women in the United States who are managing the difficult combination of obesity and diabetes," said Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and senior author of the study.

Among the most surprising findings: that in 16 weeks, these women could lose between about two pounds and four pounds of trunk fat simply by taking safflower oil supplements.

"I never would have imagined such a finding. This study is the first to show that such a modest amount o
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Contact: Martha Belury
belury.1@osu.edu
614-292-1680
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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