ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
CANCER
Get to Know the Pap Test
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
Run for Your Life
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Countdown to Hair Loss
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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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