ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
DIET, NUTRITION
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Dr Churchill & Ashley Pelton Interview 1 of 4
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
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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