ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Rainy Areas in U.S. Show Higher Autism Rates
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
EYE CARE, VISION
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
FITNESS
Football Can Shrink Players
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Eat Light - Live Longer
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Add your Article

Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some

THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- For certain people, dietary oil supplements could help ward off unwanted fat, according to a new study.

Obese older women with type 2 diabetes who added safflower oil or conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplements to their diet either decreased their body mass index or boosted their muscle mass, researchers found.

"I don't think it's a magic bullet, but I think it could have enhancing effects," said the study's lead author, Martha A. Belury, the Carol S. Kennedy professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University in Columbus. The study appeared online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Belury, who received no funding from the supplement industry, compared the effects of the two oils in 55 obese, postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes. Their average age was 60. Each woman tried both oils, one at a time, during two 16-week periods separated by a four-week period when they took neither oil.

Participants took eight dietary oil capsules a day, two at each meal and another two at night, for a total of eight grams of added oil per day. In all, 35 women finished both study periods. They didn't change their diet or exercise patterns, although they kept diet and exercise diaries so the researchers could account for any change in energy output and calorie consumption.

Safflower oil is a common cooking oil. CLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, is found in trace amounts in lamb, beef and milk, but researchers prefer to study the commercial CLA supplements, because the concentration in food is too small to have much fat-lowering ability, Belury wrote. Both oils are considered "good" fats when consumed in proper amounts.

The women who took the CLA had a significant decrease in their body mass index (BMI) -- about half a point on average. Their total body fat declined by about 3.2 percent.

The safflower oil did not affect total body fat, but did decrease the trunk, or belly fat tissue, by 2.6 to 4.2 pounds. It also boosted muscle mass by 1.4 to 3 pounds.

The safflower oil also lowered fasting blood sugar levels by 11 to 19 points. Average levels after 16 weeks of safflower oil supplements were 129 to 148, still high but significantly improved, Belury said. (Below 110 milligrams per deciliter is normal).

Belury stressed that the oil supplements could be added to other efforts to reduce weight and tighten diabetes control. "Using one or both of these oils could work into all the other things, such as diet and exercise," she said.

While her study included only women, previous studies have found that CLA lowers fat in men, she said.

How the oils affect fat loss and muscle mass is still unclear. Belury said it may be related to changes in the functioning of adipose tissue, where fat is stored.

Despite Belury's enthusiasm, another expert who reviewed the study was underwhelmed by the findings. "Although the study appears to be fairly well done, there are a lot of limitations and concerns for applying this information to anyone other than postmenopausal, obese women with type 2 diabetes," said Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

One issue, she said, is the dropout rate, with 20 of 55 women not completing the study. Also, "participants were asked to take eight capsules per day," Sandon noted. "This is a lot of extra pills for women who are already trying to manage diabetes," she said.

Instead of spending money on supplements, Sandon recommends eating a balanced diet that includes heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats and getting regular exercise.

SOURCES: Martha A. Belury, Ph.D., R.D., Carol S. Kennedy Professor of Nutrition, Ohio State University, Columbus,Ohio; Lona Sandon, M.Ed., R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and assistant professor of nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; July 2009, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition