Updated: 05/17/2016 - Website operated by Leptigen

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

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0
GNC Total Lean CLA Review

97% of dieters just want a product that’s effective. Yeah, we don’t understand the other 3%, either. We’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 comments from all over the web. At this point we compacted and summarized to give you the info you need.

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

What You Need To Know

First off, GNC Total Lean CLA is made by General Nutrition Corporation and is available for $41.99 per 180 softgel capsules. This supplement is supposed to help you maintain lean muscle mass, enhance metabolism and support healthy body composition. The key ingredient used in this product is CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid as 2,000mg per serving. It comes from Safflower Oil. You just take two softgels once or twice a day, easy.

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

Lack of Real Results – “A Concern?”

We first noticed an issue with results with GNC Total Lean CLA ingredients. 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.

Poor User Reviews – “Unhappy Customers”

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 program is very bothersome (no clinical support, 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 issues, this could be a big problem.

The Science – “Evidence?”

From what we can tell, GNC does not provide any clinical research to back up the weight-loss claims concerning GNC Total Lean CLA. Furthermore, according to WebMD, conjugated linoleic acid has not been proven effective at helping the dieter lose more. Since we at DietSpotlight need to see documented science that supports the product, we feel the need to keep searching for the best solution.

The Bottom Line – Does GNC Total Lean CLA Work?

Well now, what do we have to say at the conclusion of this one? It’s nice to see that GNC Total Lean CLA may help support lean muscle tissue. However, we have doubts about recommending this one for weight reduction and fat loss. There are actually numerous customer complaints that this product does not work 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.

Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called 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.

It is a good sign that the company behind Leptigen is so confident they feel comfortable offering a Special Trial Offer.

Learn More About Leptigen »
GD Star Rating

How Does GNC Total Lean CLA Compare?

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 in sort of the same way as Tru Ultra Lean. 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. This is a higher dose than other CLA products just like, as the name suggests, CLA 1250 contains 1250 mg. 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. Unfortunately CLA Core has considerable complaints about negative side effects. 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. CLA 500, in contrast, is priced at $85 or so depending where you go. 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


  • 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 unlike CLA products. Eternal Lean similarly may be unsafe for people with mental illnesses. 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.

GNC Total Lean CLA Questions & Answers:

Trying to decide on a weight-loss supplement that’s right for you? Check out our GNC Total Lean CLA FAQ.

What are the side effects of GNC Total Lean CLA?

GNC Total Lean CLA side effects may include stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue. We found these in several customer comments and reviews.

What are the ingredients in GNC Total Lean CLA?

GNC Total Lean CLA ingredients are Conjugated Linoleic Acid from safflower oil, valerian root, hops flower extract, horsetail rush stems extract, lemon balm leaves extract, passion flower herb powder, ALA, boron, and lutein.

Does GNC Total Lean CLA Work?

We didn’t find any strong clinical results showing the ingredients in GNC Total Lean CLA works better than other CLA supplements out there. Plus, it may not be the best choice for weight-loss.

If you want to try a different angle, you may consider combining a healthy diet and exercise routine with a supplement made with clinically tested ingredients, such as Leptigen.

How much does GNC Total Lean CLA cost?

GNC Total Lean CLA is available for $41.99, plus shipping and handling for 120 softgels. It will last a month or two, depending on how much you take per day.

How should I take GNC Total Lean CLA?

Take two capsules once or twice a day with meals and a glass of water.

Can I take GNC Total Lean CLA if I have a health condition?

This product may make certain conditions like diabetes worse. Talk with your doctor to make sure it will not cause interactions with prescription medications. CLA itself is safe for pregnant women at the right dose, but the addition of other ingredients in this formula may make it unsafe.

What do users like about GNC Total Lean CLA?

Many users liked how easy it is to work into the daily routine.

What do users NOT like about GNC Total Lean CLA?

Many users complained about the side effects, and seeing no real weight-loss results.

Is this a vegetarian supplement?

No, the supplement contains gelatin which is an animal product.

Is this product gluten free?

Yes. It is also free of dairy, artificial colors, flavors, and yeast.

How do I contact the GNC Total Lean CLA customer service department?

You can reach customer service at 1-877-462-4700..

Do you know of any special deals or discounts on GNC Total Lean CLA?

Right now, we are unable to find any kind of deal on GNC Total Lean CLA. If you’re looking for something different, you can take advantage of Leptigen’s Special Trial Offer, which is just the cost of shipping and handling. Click here to give it a shot.

23 User Reviews About GNC Total Lean CLA

Leave comments below
  • 1

    Just bought it today …..reading g about lots of hair loss from people …..what’s the deal …any answers


    Devon (Editor)

    Hi Donnie. Telogen effluvium is the most common form of drug-induced hair loss. It usually appears within two to four months after taking the drug. This condition causes the hair follicles to go into their resting phase (telogen) and fall out too early. People with telogen effluvium usually shed between 100 and 150 hairs a day.


  • 2

    I just purchased the GNC pro performance CLA. Reminder people, it’s a fat burner only. It keeps the lean muscle and reduces the fat. There is no actual weight loss. This is just to help melt the fat away. I’m sure after a spell you could see some weight loss, but not in the beginning if you have a lot of fat to lose.


  • 3

    its been a week now since i started using this product i wolud feel feel very tired and a bit weak at first but in two days i had my energy back i take two capsules in the morning and two at night i dont excersise i dont eat strched food i drink smoothis which consist of fruits and vegies and drink the flat belly detox water i weighed 96.7kg four days ago i now weigh 90.3kg and i look so trimed i love it


  • 4
    Julio De la Cruz

    I started using CLA a month ago and saw loss of fat in my problem areas including belly and face. I hadn’t thought about the results coming from CLA but it was one of the 2 products I started using which I had never used before. I was still doing my regular cardio but saw quicker result. My workouts again are the same as I’ve been doing for years.


  • 5

    Hi I haven’t used gnc total lean cla before but would like to know if it will help me to gain some muscles and weight and will this product work


  • 6
    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


  • 7

    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.


  • 8

    How much caffeine does it have. Gnc total lean?



    To answer Matthew’s query, my bottle does not indicate any caffeine. I would not have bought it if it had caffeine. It says CLA from Safflower oil, gelatin, glycerin. It does not indicate what the gelatin was sourced from (pig, beef, sheep, fish, shellfish? I’ve seen all these and vegetarian source used for other products!).

    I have a known allergy to shellfish, but when I bought this (on sale – pretty sure I did not pay $41.99 for 180 capsules!), I was noticing pain in tummy as if it was soy based. They claim they do not use soy, wheat, gluten, fake colors, fake flavors, sugar, starch, sodium free, no preservatives, no dairy, corn, but they conveniently do NOT mention anything about what gelatin was sourced with.

    I managed to gag down 90 caps and saw none of the results I had gotten with other brands of CLA that I had purchased prior to GNC releasing this Total Lean CLA version. This just happened to be on sale and I happens to be nearby. I thought I would try it, to see if it was as effective as brands I had bought from health food stores (not at GNC). I did not experience any fat burn or similar results. Meanwhile I still don’t know if this evasiveness on the label truely does mean that the capsule is made with shellfish or pork. It’s not clear at all what, exactly, it was made with. So, pretty blue bottle aside, that’s not gonna cut it, and so far I haven’t been able to find out the ingredient used to produce the gelatin, even on their website. I hadn’t even used much of the second bottle, and finally just quit using it. Was thinking I would throw out the rest and recycle the pretty blue bottle (at least RecycleBank dot com will give me rewards for my recycling efforts…).


  • 9

    does the pill realy work


  • 10

    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!


  • 11

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





  • 12

    Do I have to exercise with this product?


    Your Name



  • 13

    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.


  • 14

    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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