Safflower oil’s fame grew after it came to be associated with fat burning. But does this supplement really slim down?
According to scientific researcher and nutritionist, Aline Quissak, this cannot be seen as a benefit. Although, in part, it helps satiety , the natural extract has substances that can disrupt the weight loss process and even contribute to weight gain.
So what is safflower oil for anyway? Also according to the professional, the supplement can help control cholesterol , reduce inflammation and contribute to bodybuilding.
Whether in liquid form or in capsules, it can have other health benefits for the body. However, the consumption must be done with the supervision of a professional.
What is safflower oil for?
Food is considered healing and anti-inflammatory. It is also rich in fatty acids, such as omega-6 and omega-9 , and vitamins A, E and K. Check out in detail how this supplement works in the body!
take care of the skin
One of the most important nutrients for health is vitamin E, especially when it comes to skin care. And as we’ve seen, oil is rich in this substance.
“Some studies show that vitamin E can help improve wound healing , atopic dermatitis, acne and psoriasis, ” explains Aline Quissak.
In addition to treating these problems and diseases, the natural product has the function of calming and moisturizing the skin , acting beneficially on drier skin. For all these reasons, the researcher claims that it is quite common to find it in cosmetic formulations.
Improves brain function
“Safflower oil is an oil rich in omega-6 and omega-9, oils that are essential for brain functions and human health,” says the professional. They contribute to brain function and aid in the transmission of nerve impulses. ( 1 )
The same fatty acids that take care of brain health also protect the heart . That’s because they work by controlling the rates of fat in the bloodstream.
“It improves the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol, the HDL, and lowers the ‘bad ‘ cholesterol , the LDL”, adds Quissak. In this way, it can help prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis, characterized by the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the arteries.
It works to reduce inflammation
Have you ever heard that the difference between medicine and poison is in the dose? The thought perfectly applies to the anti-inflammatory effect of this food because, according to the nutritionist, this benefit is a two-way street.
While some studies show that the natural product can reduce inflammation markers , others point out that high doses can harm the inflammatory condition.
“It is necessary to use safflower oil with other types of healthy oil present in food, to increase its benefits to human health. Because, as it contains a high concentration of omega-6, it can contribute to the increase in inflammation when consumed in high amounts”, highlights the scientific researcher.
Helps in the treatment of diabetes
The food can also help improve blood sugar levels and consequently lower the risk of certain complications related to diabetes mellitus.
Not only that, according to Aline Quissak, it can also “improve insulin sensitivity so that your body uses it more effectively and can maintain adequate blood sugar levels.”
Contributes to bodybuilding
One of the focuses of those who practice weight training is having a good gain in muscle mass. In addition, athletes also seek to maintain this performance for longer.
For the nutritionist, all this can be achieved with the ingestion of this food, as it contains vitamins A, E, and K, important compounds for these benefits.
“Some professionals recommend it for bodybuilding for people who train for more than an hour and a half. To maintain good performance during exercise, having a source of fat that is slowly released such as safflower oil may be an option.”
At another point, some initial research has shown that safflower oil, as it contains a lot of vitamin E and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), can contribute to immunity”, he says.
These substances act by stimulating the immune system, causing the body to increase its defenses and prevent the development of some diseases.
Does safflower oil slim down?
“Safflower oil is not an activating factor for weight loss. Besides, being an oil, it is extremely caloric ”, warns Aline Quissak.
But after all, where does this reputation as a weight-loss agent come from? Also according to the nutrition professional, this benefit may be associated with the vitamin composition of the food.
When consumed a little, between 1 to 5 grams, the natural product will not make much of a caloric difference in the body. However, that same portion will be rich in vitamins A, D , E and K.
These nutrients are “important to balance mood and appetite hormones which, once balanced, can contribute to people not being so hungry and, as a consequence, they consume little food/calorie”, he explains.
However, satiety is not enough to lead to weight loss. For this reason, Quissak remembers that there is no miracle cure in the weight loss process. Only the change in lifestyle is the basis for effective weight loss.
“From the point of view of science, weight loss is a combination of emotional balance, a change in nutritional awareness to eat more natural foods, without many processed and industrialized foods, and the frequency of physical activity”, says the researcher.
Despite this, there are still those who have difficulties in lowering the scale pointer and need to live with overweight and obesity. In these cases, Aline emphasizes not using the oil as an alternative to reach the ideal weight, due to its high content of omega-6.
“Probably this patient already consumes other products rich in omega-6 (such as fried foods and other oils) and this will increase the retention of fat and inflammation in the body”, he emphasizes.
How to take?
Aline Quissak brings the recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture regarding the use of this food based on the age and gender of patients, they are:
- Girls from 14 to 18 years old: 5 teaspoons
- Boys from 9 to 13 years old: 5 teaspoons
- Children 14 to 18 years old: 6 teaspoons
- Women aged 19 to 30 years: 6 teaspoons
- Women over 31 years old: 5 teaspoons
- Men from 19 to 30 years old: 7 teaspoons
- Men over 31 years old: 6 teaspoons.
“Taking into account that you should always associate the use with other good fats such as nuts, seeds, fish, avocados”, he emphasizes.
The researcher also explains that in Brazil there is no specific recommendation capable of working for all types of patients. This is because the dose of this and any other supplement must be evaluated by a professional, such as nutritionists and/or nutritionists.
Factors such as blood tests, taking another supplement or taking medication can interfere with the final dosage. Therefore, the specialist will need to make individual adjustments to be able to meet the patient’s needs without causing interference in daily life.
Safflower oil with caffeine
Oil is a fat and serves to provide long-term energy. Caffeine is a stimulant substance capable of reducing the perception of tiredness.
According to Aline, this mixture would be used “to supplement athletes who need high calorie intake due to high intensity physical activity.”
Capsules with vitamin E
This food is already a source of vitamin E naturally, but some products can add more of this compound. In some compounding pharmacies, it is possible to order oil capsules with this vitamin.
“This would be recommended for people who are being treated for degenerative corneal diseases (eye disease), or who have low immunity diseases. But it should not be used by smokers, as it increases the risk of lung cancer when we associate high doses of vitamin E”, justifies the professional.
In food production
“In the food industry, safflower oil is used to make margarine and other salad dressings that have low nutritional quality,” says Quissak.
In the kitchen
Edible oil extract is similar in use to other types of oils such as sunflower , soybean and canola. It can also be used to season cold foods , especially salads.
Safflower Oil Side Effects
Many of the studies involving this natural extract are not conclusive yet, so the nutritionist explains that it should be submitted to further research.
For example, some analyzes suggest the anti-inflammatory power due to the high content of omega-6. However, this substance is quite ingested through other more popular foods, such as soy, sunflower and canola oil.
In contrast, the consumption of omega-3 is low in Brazil, as the nutrient is mostly present in foods considered less accessible to the population, such as fish, nuts and seeds.
Despite this, they must be matched in the body, since this discrepancy between the two substances can end up harming health, rather than benefiting it. According to Quissak, the large amount of omega-6 causes inflammation in the body .
“This high ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 can cause diseases such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, increased triglycerides and risk of heart disease . Therefore, always associate it with omega-3 supplementation to have the positive effects”, he recommends.
The professional also warns people who have an irregular bowel, as another side effect of excess of this product is a possible diarrhea . In addition, “in large doses it can increase weight gain”, he adds.
Are there contraindications?
“Not recommended for those who already have inflammatory diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, arthritis, arthrosis and for patients who have suffered a stroke [cardiovascular accident] and/or thrombosis”, concludes the nutritionist.
Knowing more about oil
This product is the result of the extraction of oil seeds from the Carthamus tinctorius L
plant . It is a food whose origin is Indian, more precisely from the arid regions of the country.
Approximately 80% of the oil is made up of linoleic acid, popularly known as omega-6. 12% refers to monounsaturated omega-9 fat, also called oleic acid. ( 2 )