What You Should Know
Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or CLA, is a fatty acid that is typically found in dairy and meat products from animals that are given a grass fed diet as opposed to a diet of grain. The highest naturally occurring concentration of CLA is found in kangaroo meat. While there are indications that significant quantities of this acid can aide in weight loss, it is virtually impossible to obtain the amounts needed through diet. Therefore, there are now numerous companies manufacturing Conjugated Linoleic Acid supplements and marketing them as a weight loss product. Conjgated Linoleic Acid in supplement form is usually derived from safflower or sunflower oil.
There is some scientific data that does support the claims that Conjugated Linoleic Acid can aide in weight loss. Studies show that about 3.2 grams daily can help decrease overall body fat in obese and overweight people. This appears to happen due to the ability of CAN to inhibit the ability of lipoprotein lipase enzyme to transfer fat from blood into fat cells. At higher doses there is some evidence that CLA may increase lean body mass and increase metabolism. Unfortunately, many of the scientific studies that indicated the effectiveness of CLA were performed on animals. Those studies that were performed on humans were less enthusiastic about the results. Even one of the most recent animal studies, performed by the USDA, raised concerns that increased levels of CLA may increase the risk of inflammatory diseases as well as cardiovascular diseases.
List of Ingredients
The list of ingredients will vary by manufacturer but will always include conjugated linoleic acid. Other ingredients may be added to increase the product’s ability to promote weight loss.
Conjgated Linoleic Acid is purported to reduce fat, preserve muscle tissue, increase lean muscle growth, and accelerate weight loss.
- Numerous retail options.
- Burns fat.
- May help build muscle.
- May increase fat accumulation in the liver.
- May increase insulin resistance.
- Few scientific studies on humans.
- Added ingredients in various products may produce additional side effects.
- No money back guarantee.
- Some indication that the risk of inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases are increased.
There are numerous brands of CLA products on the market. Each has its own unique combination of ingredients and amounts of CLA included. Not all of these brands are using the patented formula that was used in the various studies. Also, because most of the studies were done on animals the efficacy in humans is still somewhat in doubt. Finally, with most brands not offering a money back guarantee there is little reason to give this supplement a chance.