ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
CANCER
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
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
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
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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