CLA Safflower Oil – Does it Work as Claimed?

Safflower oil has received quite a bit of attention lately. Hailed as an efficient and natural weight-loss solution, which tackles not only the actual shedding of the pounds, but a plethora of other issues associated with unhealthy weight-gain, safflower oil has been hyped and promoted by some high-profile television personalities like Dr. Mehmet Oz. How exactly is this “miracle” extract supposed to work though and what should you absolutely know before you decide to give it a try yourself?

By what mechanism does CLA Safflower oil accomplish the results advertised by various supplement-makers and supported by the scores of actual people who have tried the product first-hand? The claims in this regard are numerous, and while some are logical and have been scientifically confirmed, others are of a somewhat dubious nature.

Safflower oil is indeed one of the top sources of linolenic and linoleic acid in nature, and in this specific case, we’re talking about Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which is a more bio-available form of the active compound. It is through CLA that the benefic effects of this type of safflower oil are exerted.

Activating the fat burning messenger is one of CLA’s effects. This is accomplished through the activation of fat-burning agents, such as the Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate messenger, which triggers lipolysis, a fat-burning process, through which the organism makes its fat stores available to be used as energy.

Another way through which CLA Safflower oil attacks one’s stored fat is the release of fatty acids from the adipose tissue, which eventually leads to the breakdown of the latter. These benefic effects persist after the loss of the targeted fat storage too, so CLA makes it more difficult for one’s body to deposit fat in the future.

The claim which needs to be taken with a grain of salt is that CLA also preserves and even builds lean muscle. This would be good news to those afraid of losing muscle-mass while losing fat (as indeed, the two most often do go hand-in-hand). The scientific evidence seems to be extremely shaky in this regard. Some claim that CLA accomplishes its muscle-building effects through the raising of the metabolic rate. While that is indeed great news for fat-burning, it doesn’t really have a logical impact on the building of new, lean muscle-tissue. For that, the compound would either have to bring essential muscle-building blocks into the equation (like protein) – which it doesn’t – or it would have to exert an anabolic effect somehow. Evidence in this regard seems to indicate though that CLA has a phytoestrogenic effect rather than a androgenic one. What that means is that CLA most probably has nothing to do with muscle-building, which is obviously good news to women who aren’t keen on upsetting their hormonal balance in any way.

CLA Safflower oil is said to increase serotonin though, thus helping with mood-swings, and it suppresses appetite. The two issues are apparently inter-connected, and this is where CLA exerts its most plausible effects. Low levels of serotonin are connected to compulsive and emotional eating. Whenever chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are in short supply, the body becomes prone to carbohydrate cravings, which it sees as a sort of short-term solution to correcting the imbalance. Emotional eating is its answer to this problem. By stimulating the release of those chemicals though, CLA effectively fulfills the need and corrects the imbalance before the dangerous carbohydrate cravings surface. That’s how it suppresses appetite and in this regard, there is quite a bit of scientific proof available out there.

According to a 2010 study published in the Dietary Guideline for Americans, the weight loss benefits of CLA are indeed real. This same study provides dosage recommendations for men and women too.

Safflower oil is used to treat many ailments, from irregular menstrual periods to fever, stroke and heart disease. For some of these problems, it’s known to be a good remedy, for others, less so. It does seem to work well against high cholesterol. It apparently acts by reducing the amount of bad, LDL cholesterol, but it does not increase good, HDL cholesterol.

While for most of the diseases it’s used for as a treatment, the benefits of safflower oil are insufficiently backed up from a scientific perspective, it obviously does carry some health benefits, above and beyond weight loss.

Ever since its impact on weight loss has been made public, safflower oil became a big seller for various supplement-makers worldwide. The rush to cash in on the popularity of the compound resulted in many low-quality products being pushed onto the market. The actual CLA content of some of these products is a mere 10%, which essentially defeats their very purpose: they won’t have any sort of impact on the body of the person taking the supplement.

To elicit the sort of response one is looking for, CLA Safflower Oil is the solution. Comprised of 100% pure CLA Safflower Oil, the 1,000 mg soft pills pack quite a punch indeed. The product is made in the USA, in a FDA-registered facility, so quality and consistency-wise there shouldn’t be any issues with it.

CLA Safflower oil is advertised as a zero-side effect solution, but with plant-based supplements such as this, one should know that the possibility of side effects always exists. Different people react differently to the product, depending on their physiological peculiarities and overall health condition.

Taking safflower oil during pregnancy is for instance deemed unsafe. It can cause uterus contractions and even miscarriages. Because it apparently slows the clotting of blood, hemorrhagic diseases such as various stomach and intestinal ulcers, rule the sufferer unfit for the consumption of this product. For this same reason, those looking to undergo any type of surgery should also not consume safflower oil in any shape or form.

Diabetes is also a concern, since the product can raise blood sugar levels.

There are also a modest number of interactions that safflower oil will have with certain medications. Agents aimed at slowing blood clotting (anticoagulants) fall into this category. Unfortunately, anticoagulants cover a wide range of medications, including but not limited to those that contain aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, heparin and naproxen.

According to some user feedback, safflower oil extract may interfere with the effects of certain anti-depressants, effectively barring the absorption of the medication and thus countering its effects. Safflower oil works well for some for constipation and even for asthma, though its effects in this regard are admittedly limited. Other users have reported abdominal cramps and discomfort.

The bottom line is that those who aren’t in perfect health and off any kind of medication, should not make use of this supplement.

In conclusion: CLA Safflower Oil does work well as a weight-loss supplement, but it needs to be taken carefully, its benefits weighed against its possible side-effects, which vary from person to person. As a muscle-building supplement, this product probably does not hold any water. As far as its other health benefits are concerned, some of these are proven and documented, while the vast majority carry no scientific backing.

We invite you to share any experiences or feedback you may have below!


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