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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 00:29 GMT 01:29 UK
Cooking oil 'fights fat'
Frying delight: The oil could be less fattening
Volunteers fed a diet containing a particular blend of oils actually lost weight and fat, according to researchers.

Over a 27-day period, male volunteers, despite eating the same quantity of oil as others given conventional cooking oil, lost an average of one pound.

Women did not fare as well - none lost any weight.

The researchers, from McGill School of Dietetics in Montreal, Canada, say that their blend of oils is sent straight to the liver and burned up.

The ingredients of this oil are mostly "tropical oils" such as palm oil and coconut oil, with some olive oil and flaxseed oil.

The results of the study are published in four scientific journals.

The oil has been developed by Forbes Medi-Tech, which funded the study, but the oil is unlikely to hit supermarket shelves before further tests are carried out.

While conventional oils contain fats called "long chain triglycerides", "functional oil", as it has been dubbed, contains different fats called "medium chain triglycerides".


The test subjects were approximately 25 pounds overweight before starting the experiments.

They ate a normal "north American" diet during the study - including everything from French toast with maple syrup to spaghetti with meat sauce.

Professor Peter Jones, who led the research, claimed that the monthly weight loss could continue over a year if necessary - although the test results do not confirm this.

"After consuming the oil over a year, a man could lose one pound per month or 12 pounds per year.

"The oil is not stored in the body as fat and heightens the metabolism, which is a key in maintaining a healthy body weight.

"It doesn't take much - 100 or 200 extra calories per day over a decade - to make you obese.

"Controlling obesity is all about engineering a balance between calorie intake and calorie burn.

The test results suggested that the oil might actually reduce cholesterol levels - by as much as 13%.

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