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CLA Supplements: Conjugated Linoleic Acid
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CLA Supplements: Conjugated Linoleic Acid

CLA Supplements (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)

What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid

CLA is a compound that occurs naturally in the diet (eg. in beef, turkey and dairy foods). Recent weight loss trials show that conjugated linoleic acid may lead to increases in lean body mass and a decrease in body fat without health or side effects. CLA appears to regulate enzymes in fat cells, reducing the rate at which the body deposits fat and helping to break down stored fat.

How Much CLA is Necessary for Weight Loss Benefits

According to researchers, 3.4g of conjugated linoleic acid supplements is sufficient to obtain the beneficial effects of fat loss and lean tissue (muscle) maintenance.

CLA Supplements - Fat and Weight Loss Tests

Clinical trials concerning CLA's effects on fat metabolism and lean muscle gain in laboratory animals have discovered very promising results. Positive results have also been discovered on overweight humans who took CLA supplements. In one weight loss study, sixty obese subjects were randomly assigned a 9-gram placebo of olive oil or various doses of conjugated linoleic acid supplements. The CLA group lost about 2.2 pounds, mainly from body fat. The 3.4g dose appeared to be the safest and most effective.

In one major trial, researchers from Norway studied a group of healthy but overweight men and women, who were given various daily doses of conjugated linoleic acid supplements. All groups showed significant reduction in body fat and increase in lean muscle, but this effect was most significant for the two latter groups.
In another weight loss trial, Swedish researchers studied 25 obese men aged 39-64 for four weeks and found that those taking 4.2g of CLA per day showed an average loss in waist circumference of 1.4cm.

CLA Not Always Good for Weight Loss

But, some weight loss studies have failed to demonstrate significant benefits of conjugated linoleic acid supplements, especially with regard to the reduction of body fat. For example, a recent study of experienced resistance trainers taking 6g per day of conjugated linoleic acid supplements failed to find any significant beneficial changes in total body weight, or muscle/fat ratio. In another a three-month double-blind placebo-controlled weight loss study, CLA supplements failed to produce any improvement in body weight maintenance after a period of weight loss.

CLA and Weight Loss - Summary

Some of these studies show that CLA might be a promising tool for weight loss because of its ability to reduce body fat and at the same time maintain lean muscle mass.But questions still remain about the connection between CLA and weight and fat loss, and exactly how much weight we can lose (and maintain) by taking CLA supplements.

CLA Sample Price
Conjugated Linoleic Acid supplements (100 pills) - $30

Sources include:
1. Lipids 1997 Aug;32(8):853-8.
2. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 2001 Aug;25(8):1129-35.

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