Updated: 09/29/2015 - Sponsored by Leptigen

GNC Total Lean CLA Review - Does This Weight Loss Formula Really Work? Are lack of real science and poor user reviews deal breakers?

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

gnc-total-lean-cla-product-imageWe’ve noticed plenty of buzz regarding GNC Total Lean CLA, so we did an in-depth review, examining the side effects, ingredients, level of customer care and scientific studies. Plus we read countless user reviews and dieter comments from all over the web. At this point we compacted the data we found in order to provide you with the bottom line.

EDITOR'S TIP: Substitute GNC Total Lean CLA with a proven fat burner such as Leptigen for better results.

What You Need To Know

GNC Total Lean CLA is made by General Nutrition Corporation, and is available for $41.99 (180 softgel capsules). According to GNC, this supplement helps you maintain lean muscle mass, enhances metabolism and supports healthy body composition. The key ingredient used in this product is CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid (2,000mg per serving) and it comes from Safflower Oil. You just take two softgels once or twice a day.

GNC Total Lean CLA was released in 2011, and this product does not contain any artificial colors or flavors. Furthermore, this supplement can be obtained from the official website, and there is a return policy provided, but read on…

Lack of Real Science

According to our research editor, “Even though CLA is quite popular as a daily supplement for maintaining lean muscle tissue, there is no solid evidence that this essential fatty acid causes weight loss or reduced BMI (body mass index).”

One customer said, “I bought the 180 count bottle, I didn’t notice any difference after 5 weeks.”

“While it may be effective in the lean muscle mass department. I saw no change in my weight from it,” said another user.

Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen in 2015.

Poor User Reviews

There are a lot of negative customer reviews posted online for this diet aid. One user stated, “Haven’t seen any results for losing weight. The only thing that I have noticed was acne, and all over!”


Our research has shown that if a specific aspect of a weight loss product or diet program is very bothersome (no clinical research, bad taste, too many dieter complaints) the likelihood of real success for the long run is quite slim. This means if GNC Total Lean CLA does result in all sorts of user complaints, this could be a big problem.

The Science

From what we can tell, GNC does not provide any clinical research to support the weight loss claims concerning GNC Total Lean CLA. Furthermore, according to WebMD, Conjugated Linoleic Acid has not been proven to help with weight loss or reduced BMI. Since we at DietSpotlight need to see documented science that supports the diet product, we cannot get behind this CLA supplement.

The Bottom Line

It’s nice to see that GNC Total Lean CLA may help support lean muscle tissue. However, we would not recommend this supplement for weight reduction and fat loss. There are actually numerous customer complaints that this product does not work for weight loss at all. Furthermore, there are plenty of other CLA supplements available that sell for much less.

Dieters that need to slim down and shed pounds more rapidly, we suggest you go with a weight loss supplement that is supported by positive customer reviews and contains clinically-proven ingredients for fat loss.

One of the finest diet products we’ve noticed in 2015 is Leptigen. This weight loss supplement uses four key ingredients, which have been proven in documented clinical research to help improve fat loss and kick-start metabolism. Furthermore, we can’t pinpoint any discussion of negative side effects and user comments found on the internet indicate people are seeing significant results.

Also, the makers of Leptigen are so confident in their product they’re offering a special trial offer, which is a good sign.

Learn More About Leptigen »

(Feel free to scroll below for our previously published full-length GNC Total Lean CLA Review)

Previous GNC Total Lean CLA Review (Updated January 22, 2014):

What You Should Know

Click Here To See Our Highest Rated Review

GNC Total Lean CLA claims to provide energy and support a healthy metabolism. CLA is conjugated linoleic acid and was once considered a healthy supplement to boost fat burn and protect lean muscle. Clinical studies have proven this claim to be untrue and reviews by consumers have deterred many dieters from taking products like GNC Total Lean CLA. CLA is linked to gastro-intestinal products in adults including digestion problems and upset stomach. CLA is not a fat burner or appetite suppressant, so there is no reason to believe the supplement will increase weight loss or help make weight loss easier.

List of Ingredients

Conjugated Linoleic Acid.

Product Features

GNC links the GNC Total Lean CLA product to a review on WebMD of proven weight loss products. Our favorite ingredient, green tea is on the list and so is conjugated linoleic acid. According to the WebMD report, some clinical trials have proven CLA can increase weight loss. But, reading further into the article WebMD also notes the dieters were given 3.2 grams or 3200 mg of CLA every day for six months. GNC Total Lean CLA contains only 2000 mg or 2 grams per serving and dosage directions state it can be taken once a day, if desired. There is not enough CLA in the supplement at one dose to be comparable to the study listed. The dieters also gained fewer pounds during the winter months while taking the supplement. Gaining weight is not an option when it comes to a weight loss product. Side effects are also listed for CLA including nausea, stomach upset and diarrhea.

GNC Total Lean CLA sells for $21.99 in stores and $16.99 online. Some dieters who have tried the GNC Total Lean CLA product claim the supplement needs to be taken up to 4 times a day for any weight loss benefits. Taking more CLA will simply increase the chance of having negative side effects. Going back the WebMD article, researchers called for more trials to establish how much is too much before making recommendations for the supplement. Taking a quadruple dose could be defined as too much.

See Our Featured Diet


  • None.


  • GNC Total Lean CLA may cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
  • The supportive link listed by GNC does not support the supplement.
  • CLA is not a proven fat loss or weight loss supplement.


There is no price that is low enough for a dieter to take a product that may work to increase weight loss. Proven weight loss products are available that are both safe and effective. Green tea and chromium cost fat less than GNC Total Lean CLA and are both proven to increase weight loss without diarrhea or other stomach problems.

GD Star Rating

16 User Reviews About GNC Total Lean CLA

Leave comments below
  • 1
    Your Name

    I have the same issue I use to have very thick hair and now my hair is thining just like yoy. I did stop taking it also hope it will stop thining


  • 2

    Ever since I started taking this supplement I have been losing lots of hair!! Its breaking off at the root and pretty soon I will be bald! I lost prob 1/2 of my hair. Please let me know if this is or could be a possible side effect.
    Thank you



    CLA works very good for me,I don’t have no side effects taking CLA, I loss six pounds in my first week. I was weighing 235 when I started taking them in July of 2014 and now I’m down to 175 in December 2014, love this product GNC put on their shelves.


    Your Name

    I’ve been concerned about this lately as well. Been taking CLA for months and my hair is def thinning! I’m going off before I’m left with bare spots. Not worth the risk even tho I’m not sure this is the cause.


  • 3

    How much caffeine does it have. Gnc total lean?


  • 4

    does the pill realy work


  • 5

    I m hypothyroid can I take cla as well as l-carnitine



    I’m small (frame) w/a bit of belly fat as soon as I took one, I got this sudden cramp as if I was having menstral cramp then suddenly to the bathroom I go (I know “TMI”) so I just did not continue to eat anymore that’s my exp. I suggest go natural as possible and sit up will do. Thx for reading tata!


  • 6

    My 3-yr old accidentally ate one of these capsules; will this be harmful?





  • 7

    Do I have to exercise with this product?


    Your Name



  • 8

    Does this really work? My doctor recommended it to me. I get heartburn
    from this cla and was wondering how to
    stop or get rid of heartburn, hopefully
    weight at the same time. Also I was told
    to take 2 in am and 2 in pm cla is 2000mg
    4 pills Really? please advise. There are so many products for weight loss
    i need one that really works. I need to lose 40 pounds.



    My husband take Ceyenne Pepper supplement in the middle of every meal and this has worked wonders for his heart burn. He is trying to only use all natural products.


  • 9

    I actually lost quite abit of belly fat using this product with a good diet and exercise. I added it after I had hit a plateau just exercising and getting well and this help me tremendously.





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