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Licorice Oil May Help you Shed Those Extra Pounds

A new randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the August 2009 issue of Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that licorice oil may help you lose weight.

Japanese researchers from Kaneka, Tokyo's Kaiyuu Clinic, Haradoi Hospital, and Kiryu University recruited 56 overweight men and 28 overweight women aged between 40 and 60 for the study.

The participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups to receive daily doses of a placebo or 300, 600, or 900 mg of licorice oil for eight weeks.

At the end of the study period, the researchers observed significant reductions in total body fat, bad LDL cholesterol and visceral fat among the participants that received the licorice oil supplementation.

Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds the internal organs and has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

The participants that received the highest dose of licorice oil saw a 2 pound reduction in total body fat. The researchers observed no adverse effects due to supplementation.

This study did not determine the mechanism behind these benefits but the researchers note that previous studies have found that licorice oil may help you lose fat by increasing energy expenditure.

Licorice oil has a high antioxidant content and therefore can provide a number of health benefit. However, it is important not to take too much because it can lead to water retention and high blood pressure.

Since there are no verified daily recommendations or dosage for licorice, it is best to strictly follow the directions on the label of your licorice product.

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