Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) has many applications in folk medicine. Its oil is used traditionally to treat obesity and other metabolic disorders. The anti-hypercholesterolemic and antioxidant effects of this plant have been well documented, but the anti-inflammatory effects and its role on fatty acid oxidation and homeostasis of trace elements are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protective effects of different doses of oil and extract of safflower seed against fructose induced metabolic syndrome by investigating the homeostasis of trace elements, TNF-α, and fatty acids metabolism. Eighty adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into ten groups and treated daily for 16 weeks. At the end of the study, plasma levels of liver enzymes, lipid profiles, blood glucose, insulin and TNF-α were measured. The levels of antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation were also measured along with the expression of CD36, fatty acyl-CoA synthetase (FAS), and Carnitine palmitoyl transferase I (CPT-1) beta genes in the liver. The antioxidant enzymes activity significantly decreased and lipid peroxidation, lipid profiles, liver enzymes, and TNF-α significantly increased in fructose-induced metabolic syndrome compared to the control groups, as well as the level of some trace elements significantly changed (p < 0.05). Treatment with oil and safflower seed extract in a dose dependent manner could improve biochemical parameters in groups of metabolic syndrome treated with oil and extract compared to metabolic syndrome (p < 0.05). The results also showed that the expression of above mentioned genes significantly increased in groups of metabolic syndrome treated with oil and extract compared to control and metabolic syndrome groups (p < 0.05). It can be concluded that safflower seed extract and its oil can improve fructose-induced metabolic syndrome through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, adjustment of homeostasis of trace elements, and enhancing the beta-oxidation capacity of the liver by increasing the expression of CD36, FAS, and CPT-1beta genes. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.