Is safflower oil good for your health?

Health Benefits of Safflower Oil

In an attempt to use nature’s remedies and sources to treat health issues, scientists direct many of their efforts towards understanding how certain plants, oils, and fruits can help one boost and support health. Safflower oil has been the focus of several research studies and, although additional research is needed, has been linked to various health benefits. Many supplement manufacturers took advantage of the newly found information and turned the product into a best-seller. Does it really help and how exactly does this type of oil improve one’s health? That’s what we focus on today.

Safflower oil – what is it?

Safflower oil is made from the extract of safflower plant seeds. Both the plant and the oil have been used as a nutritional and health supplement. What makes safflower oil stand out, though? When compared to olive oil, safflower oil contains a greater amount of vitamin E. It is also richer in essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega 6 than many other oils. Just like vegetable oils, safflower oil is tasteless and can be used at high temperatures. It is also packed with heart-healthy properties. Then, it does not contain cholesterol which makes it safe to use even by people who have cholesterol-related issues. One of the great things about safflower oil is that it does not lose its nutritional properties and value even when used at high temperatures.

The safflower oil is dense in calories and contains omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, known as PUFAs. These fatty acids are similar to saturated fats in what the caloric value is concerned but the impact they have on health is different since they have heart-healthy properties that can lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, PUFAs are said to reduce insulin resistance which is associated with abdominal fat.

Safflower oil and health benefits

Even if there still is much debate on the health benefits of safflower oil use, several studies and voices associate this type of oil with various health benefits. Plus, people who’ve used it experienced certain health improvements.

  • Heart-health: With a high content of omega-6 fatty acids known as linoleic acid, the safflower oil can help the body keep healthy levels of cholesterol. This can further reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart conditions such as strokes and heart attacks. Plus, the safflower oil contains phytosterols that may reduce the risk of developing certain heart diseases such as heart attack and coronary artery disease. Such effects were mentioned in a study published in the June 2002 edition of “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” which says this compound known as phytosterols can reduce the cholesterol people absorb and, thus, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s low levels of saturated fats and high levels of unsaturated fats make the safflower oil a good option for people with heart problems.

  • Obesity: The use of safflower oil is frequently associated with weight loss thanks to its Omega-6 fatty acids which help the body burn fat and prevent it from storing it. The effects the safflower oil and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) trigger have been compared in two groups of people who took one of the two oils for 16 weeks. The Ohio State University study involved postmenopausal women diagnosed with type II diabetes. By the end of the trial, researchers found that women taking safflower oil enjoyed a greater abdominal fat reduction than the women taking CLA.

  • PMS: There is a significant number of women who have a difficult time during menstruation, with pain and discomfort as the main protagonists. The linoleic acid the safflower oil contains can regulate the prostaglandins which are seen as the cause of severe hormonal fluctuations and menstruation symptoms. Women have used safflower oil to regulate their menstrual cycle like any other hormonal supplement just that this one is less likely to trigger side effects.

  • Immunity booster: Safflower oil is rich in vitamin E and can reduce respiratory problems, boost immunity and help blood circulation. Since this vitamin is known to help the body eliminate free radicals, it can lower the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.

  • Hair and skin health: Thanks to the oleic acid it contains, safflower oil has scalp and hair health benefits. This vitamin is known for stimulating circulation on the scalp, hair growth as well as strength in the follicles. When rubbed into the roots of your hair, safflower oil boosts the hair quality and shine. Moreover, the linoleic acid in safflower oil makes it great for skin and nails. It can be used as a skin moisturizer and smoother and nail growth promoter. Since it is low in comedogenic action, the safflower oil can unclog pores and thus reduce blackheads. It is beneficial in reducing eczema, redness, and inflammation. Additionally, the linoleic acid in safflower oil can stimulate the regeneration of new skin cells. This means it can be used to reduce scars and other skin imperfections.

Final thoughts

Before taking any supplement, make sure you see your doctor. Even natural supplements can interfere with certain health conditions and determine unwanted effects. Since safflower oil is a blood thinner and can significantly slow down blood clotting, safflower oil should not be used by people with blood clotting problems. It is also recommended to be avoided by people allergic to ragweed or other plants in that family since safflower is part of it and can trigger allergic reactions. Plus, safflower oil should not be used if you are pregnant as it can determine contractions and labor.

Therefore, make sure you get your doctor’s green light before embarking upon a self-prescribed and self-administered supplement treatment. There are health conditions that can get worse when certain supplements are taken. If you want to use safflower oil for weight loss, make sure this is just one part of a bigger program. Add it to a healthy diet and regular exercises. Revisit your current lifestyle, make the necessary changes and the results won’t fail to appear.

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