Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SafSlim May Help Belly Fat, Should You Take It?

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With so many questionable weight loss products and programs, more often than not when asked to investigate the latest system or scam I find a whole lot of exaggeration and risk. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy denouncing dietary disasters. So when clients came in inquiring about Safslim supplements plugged by Montel Williams on the Dr Oz show, I was secretly excited to expose the “truth” and let them have it.  I mean “Safslim” sounds so suspicious.

First, A Look at the Research
A 2009 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found obese, post menopausal women lost 6.3 % of abdominal fat and gained lean muscle mass taking safflower oil capsules with no change in diet or exercise.  Their blood sugar levels improved, as did insulin sensitivity. The glucose improvements may have been a result of the reduction in stomach fat. Another study, with a similar study population, confirmed these results and found safflower oil also improved HDL or “good cholesterol”. Anyone has worked with post menopausal women knows a reduction in abdominal fat isn't easy to achieve.
Interesting, can’t bash at all based on this but these are the only two studies I found.

What dose is needed, how do different brands compare?
Safslim is not organic and is more expensive than other brands. It’s also a flavored liquid sweetened with xylitol and I’m not sure that’s necessary here.  The dose used in the studies and suggested by Safslim is 6-8 grams per day which for this product is two tablespoons. 

Are there risks? Is there a way to benefit without a supplement?
This is where it gets tricky. The predominant oil in Safslim and many other capsules is linoleic acid though other fatty acids are present. The better safflower for cooking and more stable is “high oleic” variety that has a higher smoke point. Food sources of linoleic acid are sunflower seeds, pine nuts, hemp (for example safflower is 78% linoleic and the fat in hemp 60%) and pecans. If your organic chemistry isn’t fresh in your mind (linoleic is 18:2n-6) or if  you need a fatty acid primer, there is a good one here.

Would I suggest this?
I wouldn’t suggest the supplements yet. There’s not a lot of research, none on non-obese or male subjects, and I don’t quite get the mechanism acting here. Safflower gets converted to GLAs (black currant, evening primrose are GLAs) which have great effects on PMS and skin so these are other potential benefits. I just don’t feel the case is strong enough to supplement for three to four months as the studies did. I will admit, after reading about this I had my favorite Kaia raw sunflower seeds for a snack. I think this is a topic to keep an eye on. My math says 1.5 tsp. regular (not high oleic) safflower oil or ½ ounce sunflower seeds would give you the 6-8 grams of polyunsaturated acid used in the studies. These fats should replace other fats in your diet or you're looking at adding close to 100 calories to your daily intake. So I’m not sure I would suggest following the “Montel” diet but there appears to be something to this safflower thing, I’m just not sure what.
Addendum (Summer 2012)
It seems my clients are less cautious than I am. After I posted this many of them felt why not try Safslim and they did and they reported back. The vast majority were pleased. I also received emails and blog comments attesting their satisfaction with this product. What can I say? I went from a skeptic to a believer. I don't think you have to but if you're concerned have Safslim with your means and skip either your mid morning or after dinner snack to compensate for the added calories.
Did you hear about safflower supplements? What do you think of the information above? Would you supplement or increase dietary linoleic acid based on what you know?




57 comments:

  1. Guess what?? The lady who was on the show with Dr. OZ, that was my PROFESSOR from grad school!!! I will tell you that she has been researching this for YEARS and really she should be getting all the proceeds for this product, because it's basically hers, and I've had discussions with her about it and it really DOES work! If you want to see her research, let me know and I can ask her to send it over!
    Neat...right?! I do agree though, it's not organic and that's a bummer if you do want organic.

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  2. Very interesting, thanks for sleuthing this out! It seems like every other month there is something NEW out there that is supposed to be better than XYZ and aid in weight-loss. First fish oils, then we find out fish oil isn't the end all be all, next Flax was king, now flax might cause prostate cancer...then Chia seeds. Now safflower. It's too much. I feel like at a certain point you need to stop searching for the magic bullet and focus on the basics: clean, whole foods, veggies and healthy fats.

    I would rather sprinkle sunflower seeds on my salad or oatmeal (in place of _____fat) and call it a day. There is just something gimicky about a flavored product called SafSlim.

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  3. I'll give it a try

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  4. Gina- would love to learn more especially if work done in other study populations or with food vrs capsules? Cameo, I understand the "nutrition advice changes all the time" concept but I don't think it should result in people holding their ears. We learn more, the advice adjusts. Fish oils for inflammation 100%, flax for fiber and perhaps if fish isn't an option and now these EFAs that are omega 6's. We all have to take it in, maybe try it and decide what our correct combo is.

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  5. Great topic, and I love your analysis, Lauren.

    The AJCN study is a randomized, double-masked, crossover study, but only 35 obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes completed it. Lots more study needed.

    I agree with you that nutrients from food make more sense than getting them from expensive supplements, and in this case, I wouldn't "waste" calories on something that doesn't add pleasure -- like Cameo, I'd rather pour oil on my salad.

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  6. "Anyone has worked with post menopausal women knows a reduction in abdominal fat isn't easy to achieve."

    No kidding! My fat has always lived around my mid-section, but it's been awful since that premature menopause hit. I'm glad to take one for the Foodtrainers Team by trying this supplement or just plain safflower oil.

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  7. I think we all struggle with the abdominal area...I think the solution is to NOT have kids. Because I don't think any amount of linoleic acid can help us after that. :)

    Seriously though, I am intrigued by this!

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  8. Very interesting.
    I hadn't heard of this product. That is another reason why I love reading your blog!! :)
    I do think sometimes companies try to repackage a food and make it look fancy...like the comment mentioned..just eating a bit more sunflower seeds versus buying this product.

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  9. Ameena, once the kids have been "had" we must look for solutions. Sunflower before you sneer. Marie, you're ready to guinea pig it? We can do our own study. Ayala, yes the studies were small and I'm not a huge safflower fan, food first.

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  10. Tell me what you want me to try (the oil vs. the supplement vs. food) and I'm in.

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  11. Am I skeptical or lazy or both? Also, I agree with everything Cameo said.

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  12. I'm always very wary of supplements. I still think that we should just eat FOOD.

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  13. Is it ok to roast the raw sunflower seeds, will that affect the linoleic acid? I love to add a slight drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and roast them.

    Now correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought that the most important thing with fatty acids was balance. That's why I try to eat a variety of nuts and seeds. I am cautious about oils, as supplement or not, because of oxidation.

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  14. Natalie I wouldn't be concerned about roasting based on what I've read, I just happen to love the kaias. Stephanie, I think supplements for some things (vit D, omegs 3's) are worthwhile I would say food first.

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  15. So I started reading this yesterday, then got so involved in researching the product that I didn't get back until today! Interesting research, especially since Gina has a little bit of first hand knowledge of the study. My recommendations for weight loss are always to work on diet and exercise first, and I mean REALLY work on it. That being said, there are definitely some individuals who may not respond, especially in the belly fat area (I like Ameena's comment as my body shape definitely changed after having kids-not that I would give them up :-). If there are SAFE products that may help in his area, I'm not opposed to having clients try them, although if the Kaia sunflower seeds might work just as well I'd definitely be up for that!

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  16. I haven't heard of this but haven't been working in the field for a couple years. Very interesting- I guess with more studies time will tell, however I rarely recommend supplements such as this. Good ol' food (the right kind) often does the trick.

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  17. I purchase to stop my overwhelming sweet cravings. It works too well. Now NOTHING taste sweet. So I don't even want any sugar nothing.

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  18. K I've heard a lot of commets from people but haven't heard one person who has actually tried it. I would like to see what they think of the product since yu have tried it. Of course everyone is gonna have an opinion but I can trust someones opinion better if I know they have tried it.

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  19. Hi guys-I came across this blog because I was curious if Safslim could have benefits for the skin as well as abdominal fat (trying to update my diet to be more skin-healthy). I've been taking Safslim for about a month or so now. It started when I was in Vitamin Shoppe buying flax and they had a promotional thing where they were giving out coupons and free samples. After trying a sample, I left the store with the coupon, but without the Safslim. That afternoon I felt that the Tablespoon I took kept me from my normal afternoon cravings so I went back a few days later and made the full purchase. I had never seen this product before (I don't watch Oz, Montel or anything) but I figured I'd give it a shot, more for appetite control, not as some "miracle" product for my belly. Now I just have to clarify-I am a MASSIVE SKEPTIC (about eveything, not just supplements!) so I didn't have high expectations for this product. I also have to clarify that I work out 6 times a week and eat healthy-but I had pretty bad stomach bloat that had been plaguing me since I got on birth control. That being said, I did notice a difference after taking this product. My stomach bloat has gone down and everything feels tighter in my abdominal region. Now, is this all in my mind? I don't think so-I am VERY honest with myself and I never cave to marketing ploys or tricks. I also keep wondering if there's something else that could account for the difference-I have been eating more almonds lately but aside from that, my diet and exercise routine has been identical before/after the Safslim. Now, if you are someone who has a surplus of fat in the stomach area, taking Safslim isn't going to give you a 6-pack. I DO think it's helpful to incorporate into a healthy diet/exercise regime. I'm in shape so I only take one Tablespoon every morning and the Safslim lasts longer. Again, I'm not saying that everyone should go out and buy this product-I'm just telling my experience since a poster above said that they haven't heard from anyone who has taken it.

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  20. Well, I am trying it now. I have been taking it for 3 days (the orange cream flavor, which tastes like a dreamscicle). I have noticed so far that my craving for sweets has dropped dramatically, and my overall cravings for food have decreased. I am a pre-menopause basket case right now, and this seems to be working. I have been on a diet and exercise program for a month, with little results and a lot of hunger until this last 3 days. The thing is, for those of you who keep talking about eating the right foods, we eat fish a lot, and get loads of Omega 3's. We eat sauteed spinach or greens frequently, fruits every day, and I add a variety of nuts to our salads and veggies. I grill instead of fry, and I still can't make a dent. I'll let you know if this works.

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    Replies
    1. If you need to lose weight ,you should try the 17 day diet book!! I have been doing it for seven months and have lost 49 pounds!! I feel great and have so much energy. This is a very doable program and weight comes off fairly fast. Now my husband is doing it and he's lost 20 pounds in a month!! I highly recommend it. Find a friend to do it with you and call each other once a week to report your weight loss. It helps to have some one to be accountable to. Good luck!!!

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  21. I've been taking Safslim for almost 2 weeks. I have begun to notice that my cravings have dropped somewhat but one of the reasons I'm online looking for reviews is that I am bloated. No "bathroom" problems but this already (age) 50+ tummy feels even larger. I hope that this will go away as I'd really like to give this a chance. Has anyone else experienced bloating?

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  22. Hello, I have been taking Safslim for about 3 weeks and also looking around on the net due to the discomfort of bloating as well. I have found it improve my sugar level and stability. I had a complete hysterectomy about a month ago so I am looking for anything to help stabilize me. But stomach is sore and swelling more than it is going away.

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  23. I had a hysterectomy also.I think your symptoms may be coming from this. You have to give your body adequate time to heal, this was major surgery!

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  24. I have had a hysterectomy as well, and had the stomach bloat for a long time afterwards. Your body needs time to heal from this surgery. I have increased belly fat ever since the surgery. Going to try it and see if it works. So far just exercising has not helped and it is very discouraging.

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  25. I want to know if it really works? Who has tried this? Just bought it. I need real answers. Any one?

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  26. You can read a lot of reviews on QVC. They seem to be mixed.

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  27. I have been taking Safslim now for two weeks and I can definitely tell the difference in my stomach area. I take one Tbls before breakfast and dinner. I drink LOTS of water throughout the day and exercise 3 times a week. However, I did notice that as it flushes out the fat in the belly area, I tend to visit the powder room a bit more....which is soo important and a good thing. Therefore, I know that it is helping my body to break down the fat. Will keep everyone posted!

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  28. Hi . I'm a Nurse and while I eat pretty healthy foods I have gained weight since menopause. I will tell my age. 63
    I decided to give this a try today, but Im not only taking the safslim. I added the Rasberry keytones, and liquid tripple strength L-caritine along with krill oil capsules.
    One of the girls in the health food store said to take all of them at the same time, the other girl thought the Rasberry ketones could be left off and said she isnt taking those.
    I will tell you, I took my first dose of each but not at the same time. I left off the saf slim and waited for 2 hours to pass, then took it alone followed by some water.
    I will do this until it all runs out and if it helps, Ill get more, but if it doesnt work, then nothing lost in trying.
    However if you shold decide to get the rasberry ketones be careful, there are several brands out and one of them has yellow and blue dye in it.
    read the labels. The one I purchased , Im told is the only one on the market that has a patent.

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  29. I have purchased the Berry Fusion version and I will say that it works. It has definitely cut down my mid section and has given me a little more hope. I also had sugar and cholesterol issues which have normalized now....I am going to keep going and see how everything looks in another month or two.

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  30. I read some articles in a couple of women’s magazines on this subject that Dr Oz wrote or that were written after he did the show that Montel was on. I did not see the show but did some research. I’m the proverbial never ending dieter, over 50, BBW, going through menopause and diabetic. While the prospect of a flatter belly and losing fat and inches and hopefully some weight is extremely appealing, I was drawn to the product to hopefully decrease my blood sugar levels in addition to the meds that I take. I purchased a bottle of each flavor. Both are tasty – like orange and raspberry sherbert. I use a cooking measuring tablespoon and take one in the morning before leaving for work and one in the evening when I get home about 30 min or so before dinner. I do feel like it helps curve my appetite and I seem to have a new found calmness. I am due for an A1C test in about a month and am hoping for something good. Any other benefits I get from taking this will be like frosting on a cake. I’m not looking for a miracle weight loss product. I will check back after I have my blood test. I also started a weight loss tracking sheet (goal sheet) to plan and track my weight loss and goals and I believe that doing both has really helped me finally get serious about reaching my weight loss goals.

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  31. Yes, Caroline, I have the same problem, I feel like my stomach is bigger instead of smaller, I'm a little disgusted because it's supposed to take away my menopausal stomach which is so hard to lose, I try everything, I'm 52, eat healthy, exercise, but the stomach will not go away. I also would like to give it a chance but now that I see it has xylitol that causes stomach bloating, I don't understand.

    Joanne   

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  32. I am taking SafSlim and getting horrible skin eruptions on my face

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  33. I am a healthy, fit woman of 47. I have been taking Safslim for 8 days and I am miserably bloated. Hence the posting. I was looking on the Internet for people who feel the same way. Not just bloat, but discomfort.  I feel like I took a tire pump and pumped up my stomach. I am wondering if this will pass within the next week or so.

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  34. If you take this product you also have to do exercise.Its not going to do anything with out it.I've taken it now for 4 months.Ive lost 7 inches in stomach.Around the mid section I've lost 5 inches.I only take it in the morning before I eat.It has calories so you have to fit it in your diet.

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  35. I WAS a skeptic.  I've worked in the natural supplement and prooducts business for over 15 years.  I know my brands.  I have used CLA capsules in the past and had occasional tummy disruption, but favorable results.  Recently I decided to try SafSlim.  I know a lot of folks in the business and most seemed to approve of SafSlim.  I LOVE this product.  After about a 3 week period of front loading, I started to notice results.  The key for SafSlim to work is consistency, consistency, consistency.  And of course be mindful of nutrition and exercise.  I have not had any of the weird bloating with this product.  It's important to take it before a meal or snack, as that is best for assimilation, and it has to be twice a day.  Beef up your leafy green veggies to help support your gallbladder, liver, etc while it is dumping the fat.  Lots of water too.  Good luck.

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  36. I have started taking sef slim only 2 days now and I have hope that it works, I have read all the topics on it , studies, and feel with diet and the walking I do it will work. Will up date in a week or so....

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  37. Any men that have tried this?

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  38. I have been taking Safslim for 16 days, as directed. (The new Pina Colada flavor, YUM) The women at my vitamin shop also suggested I take a tablespoon of the carnatine twice a day, so I have been doing that as well. All while eating healthier, home cooked meals, and forcing myself to eat breakfast. I didn't take any measurements until 5 days ago. I took my measurements again today and there has been a 1.25 inch difference in my belly area! I haven't added any exercise to my busy daily routine, other than a few random walks. My Mom suggested I try Safslim, because the only area of my body I have an issue with is my belly. I'm only 25 years old, but have struggled with this area since I was 19. So far, so good! I will try to post another update when I do more measurements at the end of my 2nd bottle!

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  39. I have tried this product for 3 days, the first day I took it, i felt a heated sensation throughout my body, by the third day, I was really thirsty, couldnt get enought to drink, and the heated sensation became bothersome. I stopped taking it and the symptoms went away.

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  40. I been on it for about a month and a week now and see a small reduction in the belly area ...

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  41. Hi Lauren! I'm finally getting around to doing something about what you've written here! Always interesting! I'm intrigued because the high linoleic safflower oil is something you mentioned could help hair growth as well. I dont like the sweetness of Safslim. Do you think 2T of pure high linoleic saf oil would have the same benefits? Thanks!

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  42. Yes, as mentioned about you can do oil, you can do seeds too. Only benefit of Safslim is research.

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  43. I have been on SafSlm for 21 weeks and nothing. I already

    have a clean diet, no sweetners, no grains,(I'm sensitive), no dairy,(frozen yogurt twice a year), no fried foods. I exercise, so I don't understand why no results. Very disappointed and poorer. I'm 71.

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  44. I had a baby 3 months ago. Work out 6 days a week for 1-2 hours. Lost pretty much all of my baby fat, but ive always had trouble around my belly, lady recommended this; certainly dont feel as hungry. Im fuller for longer. Plus it tastes awesome! And its only been one day haha Hope I get the results i want :)

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  45. There is a 100% guarantee on the bottle. You should see if that really exists. I am sorry it didn't work for you. I just started it 4 days ago so I am still in the trial process.

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  46. I have taken this product for two weeks now. The main reason I bought that was some of the ingredients (xylitol and ascorbyl palmitate) and I can tell that I like it so far, I am not constipated as much, and I feel light. I don't have a big belly to loose but I surely want to loose some pounds. I will keep taking it. There is no miracle product when it comes to weight loss, we have to work on different areas too, like nutrition and exercise, but if there's something to help shrink the fat cells, it's a plus.

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  47. :( I am sorry to hear that. I have very sensitive skin so that is a big concern of mine.I hope it gets better!

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  48. I would love to see the research as well. I have been overweight all my life and tried so many gimmicks that I am skeptical, yet hopeful. My email address is chiara.jonelle@gmail.com

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  49. Same here..... Email jayt_91@yahoo.com

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  50. I took the SafSlim for 48 hours and had loose stools. Peviously have had some intestational surgery, perhaps that was the problem. Did help with appetite, but not easy to take this and work. Didn't taste that good either. Seems it would be easier just to eat some sunflower seeds!

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  51. Usually I am not regular to read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

    Andres
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  52. Can you take CLA pills and Safslim together?


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  54. I would love to see research as well. bmitchley25@hotmail.com

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