CLA Safflower Oil: Weight Loss Scam Or Savior?

cartoon of man sitting at computer with scam warning

There are many different supplements or essential oils out there that have come out as having some serious weight loss properties and that is definitely a positive attribute that many people can relate to wanting. Many of these supplements, oils, or treatments have multiple positive effects to health, or at least supplements with those ingredients claim they do. CLA Safflower Oil is one example of this.

Gaining immense popularity in recent years, CLA Safflower Oil seems to have really exploded onto the scene, in part because of it being the focus of a main segment on The Dr. Oz Show, which definitely added fuel to the CLA Safflower Oil fire although it’s important to note that Dr. Oz didn’t endorse the oil.

A lot of claims were brought out about all the potential benefits this long time ingredient of Eastern medicine brings to the table, but how effective is it really?

Can this oil be the saving grace that so many overweight individuals are looking for that will finally tip that weight loss scale in their favor, or is it just another in a long line of scams based on anecdotal evidence with no empirical backups? Read on to find out!

CLA Safflower Oil Weight Loss Benefits

woman measures belly after weight loss

One comment worth noting is that CLA and Safflower Oil are technically slightly different things that are heavily related, but the two are pretty much combined in any treatment form whether via cooking oil, essential oil, or supplement capsules making them pretty much interchangeable terms once they get to the point of product production.

There are many conflicting claims about the best CLA Safflower Oil so we are going to tackle the following in the next sections:

  • CLA Safflower directly burns more fat
  • Swishing CLA Safflower oil for 20 minutes is enough to detoxify and get those positive benefits
  • Higher concentrations are needed for noticeable effects
  • This supplement also…(going over lists of dozens of claims about CLA vs. Safflower Oil)
  • Fat is moved to muscle
  • Most reviews have been faked

Weighing the CLA Evidence

a science studies slides under a microscope

There are many types of evidence, but right off the bat, it’s important to note we’re sticking to laboratory tests and scientific tests (empirical evidence) as much as possible. Anecdotal evidence abounds when it comes to any type of supplement, with the problem being obvious: it’s easy to make up and impossible to actually prove.

We don’t test these claims against anecdotal evidence, though we may mention it if there’s a complete lack of scientific study on the claim. We’ll note the difference.

The CLA Claims

Does Safflower Cause The Body To Burn More Fat?

This is the really big question. There has been a lot of research on this topic and the findings are a bit mixed, but there is some evidence suggesting that there are potential benefits. One important point to make off the bat: the differences between the CLA Safflower results relies heavily on getting the high end (read: ingredient verified) supplements from manufacturers like Clarinol or Tonalin versus a dubious “generic” Safflower supplement that may or may not have the actual ingredient and will certainly have less of it.

The evidence we’re talking about is based on studies focusing on Clarinol or Tonalin. If you’re looking at a generic supplement or general oil then assume the benefits will be reduced, at best. This also seems to confirm the need for the CLA Safflower oil supplements needing to be a particularly high concentration to be as effective as the are in clinical trials.

woman shows how much weight she loss with scale in background

Clinical studies showed that while early feedback was minor, but definitely positive when it came to weight loss, the longer these supplements were part of a long-term weight loss regiment, the better and more consistent the boosted weight loss seemed to be.

There also seems to be evidence that even if the weight loss benefits are relatively minor, which most were, that CLA Safflower oil seems to have a body re-composition effect. There does seem to be solid clinical evidence starting with a 2009 study from the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” and confirmed in several other clinical studies since showed that fat from the middle or “trunk” area of the body and showed some minor improvements in lean body mass. Even in test subjects who didn’t receive a fat burning boost, there seemed to be some body re-composition going on.

Finally some of these studies do show that the body seems to take calories or internal fuel that would go towards fat storage and send it towards muscles instead. This could explain both the fat loss as well as the seeming increase in lean body mass. Those results are very promising, although more clinical studies would be beneficial to really nail down what these supplements can do and where the limits are in their effectiveness.

No, Swishing Oil Isn’t Enough

While the idea of simply sloshing some oil around the mouth and spitting it out while still getting the full positive effects (from better gums and teeth to weight loss to “detoxification”) would be appealing, there’s virtually no backing of this from the few studies that have been done. This practice is often named “Oil pulling” and has been mentioned specifically with CLA Safflower Oil in recent years.

The answer is that studies done have shown no tangible benefits to swishing with one “maybe” exception of a very slight improvement in gum cleanliness and health…something that most people would display even swishing a little bit of water a couple times a day to just to rinse out the mouth.

In fact, you can get the full rundown at, that shows the claims on swishing are unproven at best, with limited clinical trails giving no evidence other than the small possible improvement in dental health improvement – which even that hasn’t showed up consistently or powerfully enough to be listed for sure as a clinically proven benefit.

Does the Good Outweigh the Bad?

good vs bad

While the clinical trials are pretty encouraging when it comes to CLA Safflower Oil and what it brings to the table for weight loss, body re-composition, or fat loss, there’s a long list of other claimed benefits such as detoxification, appetite suppression, improved cholesterol, appetite suppression, lower blood pressure, anti-inflammatory properties, and more, but clinical studies have not backed up any of these claims or benefits.

Watch Out For Manufacturing Scams

While there are thankfully several larger names when it comes to CLA Safflower Oil that make it easier to buy these supplements with confidence that you’re getting what you pay for, but if you’re not going with those big names then you definitely want to be sure to watch out for manufacturing scams.

Unfortunately, in the world of supplements, there are a lot of them, and plenty of news reports have showed testing supplements that were then proven to only have a sliver of what was originally promised in the ingredient list. The good news is that this is relatively easy to do.

Here are some basic steps you can take:

a fit man points at a highly rated bottle of cla

  • Research the company and/or brand
  • Don’t take ingredient list at face value
  • Check out trusted online forums & communities
  • Trust your gut instincts

Remember What Supplements Are
Supplements are just that: supplements. That means they’re not a magic bullet, but something that can give an extra boost to a smart diet, moderate exercise, or a full-scale weight loss program. This should be seen as that little extra bit that can really move the scales in your favor but not a standalone solution to being overweight and having too much body fat.

What’s The Final Verdict?

When buying from reliable and trusted providers, used in a proper supplement role (not over-used: very important note is to not overuse as this is very calorie dense), and with a focus on weight loss and body re-composition, CLA Safflower Oil can be extremely beneficial as part of your overall plan.