Safflower Oil Supplement Review

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Safflower Oil
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Dietary supplement
0 (Effectiveness Unclear)


  • Safflower oil decreases appetite and cholesterol levels.
  • Safflower oil comes in two varieties, seed-derived and flower-derived.
  • Seed-derived safflower oil type is high in oleic acid, just like olive oil. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid.
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids are anti-inflammatory.
  • Two tablespoons daily of seed-derived, high-oleic safflower oil lowers LDL cholesterol levels.


  • Flower-derived safflower oil is an omega-6 fatty acid. High concentrations of omega-6s have been associated with an increased incidence of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
  • Studies of weight loss showed some loss of belly fat in postmenopausal obese women with type 2 diabetes, but no change in total body fat or BMI. There is no true benefit for weight loss.
  • This product should not be taken by patients with abnormal lipid profiles.
  • It should be stopped if patients experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Most concerning is the questionable effect of a diet that further increases the amount of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids ingested.

Flower-derived safflower oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory. Diets high in omega-6s are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and even some cancers.

DOSAGE:To decrease your appetite with fat eaten early in a meal, use 6 walnut halves or a teaspoon of olive oil. Substitute safflower oil only if its label verifies it as high in oleic acid, a version that is likely not easy to find.

CONCLUSION:We conclude that while there is a type of safflower oil that shows promise, there is not enough evidence for us to recommend its use for this indication. If you do elect to try it, please discuss your decision with your doctor, and observe carefully for any changes to your health.

“Safflower.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Safflower.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
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Pfeuffer, M. et al. CLA Does Not Impair Endothelial Function and Decreases Body Weight as Compared with Safflower Oil in Overweight and Obese Mal Subjects. Journal of the American College of Nutrition (2011) 30(1): 19-28
Norris, L. et al. Comparison of dietary conjugated linoleic acid with safflower oil on body composition in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) 90:468-76
Rallidis, L. et al. Dietary a-linolenic acid decreases C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A and interleukin-6 in dyslipidaemic patients. Atherosclerosis (2003) 167, 237-242
Ciubotaru, I. et al. Dietary fish oil decreases C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and triacylglycerol to HDL-cholesterol ratio in postmenopausal women on HRT. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (2003) 12, 513-521
Koyama, N. et al. Effects of safflower seed extract supplementation on oxidation and cardiovascular risk markers in healthy human volunteers. British Journal of Nutrition (2009) 101, 568-575
Moreno, D. et al. Effects of Stir-Fry Cooking with Different Edible Oils on the Phytochemical Composition of Broccoli. Journal of Food Science (2007) 72(1):S64-S68
Knuth, N. et al. Reducing dietary fat from a meal increases the bioavailability of exogenous carbohydrate without altering plasma glucose concentration. J App Physiol (2009) 106:122-129
Asp, M. et al. Time-dependent effects of safflower oil to improve glycemia, inflammation and blood lipids in obese, post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-masked, crossover study. Clinical Nutrition (2011) 30, 443-449

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