Updated: 07/11/2017 - Site sponsored by Dietspotlight Burn

CLA Review- Does This Fatty Acid Work?

  • 7 User Comments
  • Rating: 2.8. From 12 votes.
By Summer Banks Jun 08, 2017

I’m obsessed with finding diet products that actually work. Let’s find out if CLA is one of them. We spent some time conducting an in-depth review, focusing on the side effects, ingredients, clinical research and overall customer care. We also checked out countless user remarks and comments from all over the web. Finally, we summarized and compressed all of the facts to give you the info you need.

CLA Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Dietspotlight Burn.

What is CLA?

First off, CLA ingredients only include conjugated linoleic acid. This is a natural fatty acid that is commonly found in dairy and beef products. However, this substance can also be derived from safflower oil. It’s often said to reduce unwanted body fat, improve lean muscle mass, promote heart health and even fight cancer. There are numerous supplements available online and in stores that contain this key component. Many of them are advertised as weight-loss or muscle-building products.

From what we gathered, CLA has been available since 1978, when it was discovered by Dr. Michael Pariza. Many diet supplements that contain this fatty acid offer several other key ingredients as well to promote weight-loss or overall fitness. There is plenty of user feedback posted on the web for conjugated linoleic acid products, which is helpful, but read on…

Minimal Results – “Is It Strong Enough?”

One concern we have with CLA is minimal results. According to our Research Editor, “Numerous people who have taken conjugated linoleic acid supplements for weight-loss purposes have stated that they experience little to no effects. Obviously this is concerning.”

One person revealed, “I took it for five weeks. Not only did I not lose a pound, but it also caused me to get bad headaches.”

However, a different user said, “Didn’t experience any CLA side effects, like others report. But, didn’t really feel any other effects either.”

Another posted, “If you really look into CLA, you will see that it does not help you lose weight or reduce BMI. It’s more for promoting lean muscle when lifting weights.”

Negative User Reviews Around CLA – “Not a Good Sign”

There are quite a few discouraging user comments posted on the web about CLA supplements. In fact, one person revealed, “Every time I take this I get very sick to my stomach. I’m done feeling like crap. I’ve tried this at least five times and each time I feel like I’m going to have to run to the bathroom.”

Then again, not all users have bad things to say about CLA. One person mentioned, “Been taking this for about eight weeks now. When combined with low-calorie diet and strength training, you will see more lean muscle.”

“Not sure exactly what CLA does. I know there is quite a bit of hype. I will continue taking it until it’s gone. Hopefully it does something,” said another customer.

Our research has shown if there’s a particular part of a diet supplement that is especially bothersome (minimal results, negative user reviews, unpleasant taste) the likelihood of long-term success is rather slim. In other words, if CLA does fail to produce real effects in a lot of people, this could be a big problem.

The Science – “Is It There?”

There is some research that supports CLA for decreasing body fat in adults. However, according to WebMD, this substance, “Does not seem to decrease body weight or body mass index (BMI) in most people.” Therefore, it may help some with overall physical fitness, but may not be the answer to serious weight-loss.

The Bottom Line – Does CLA Work?

So, should you run out and buy a CLA supplement? Well, first off, we like that this is a natural fatty acid that helps promote heart health and lean body composition. On the other hand, studies have shown that this ingredient does not decrease body weight or BMI. Also, we’re concerned about some of the negative user comments posted online regarding side effects and no weight-loss results.

If you’d like to drop more pounds, then we suggest you choose a supplement that does not cause any harmful side effects, contains clinically tested ingredients for weight-loss and gives you plenty of bang for your buck.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Dietspotlight Burn. This formula contains a blend of four important ingredients, which have been shown in documented clinical studies to help ignite fat loss and spark metabolism. We can’t find any discouraging user feedback online, and the customer comments we spotted on the web indicate people are seeing solid results.

The makers of Dietspotlight Burn are so satisfied with their product they’re offering a Special Trial Offer, which is a good sign.

Previous CLA Review (Updated September 20, 2013):

CLA - What You Should Know

CLA, also known as conjugated linoleic acid, is essentially an isomer of linoleic acid. This makes it a "fatty acid" with different chemical functions than LA (linoleic acid). CLA has been incorporated into dietary supplements in order to assist men and women with weight reduction. This element is stated to be commonly found in safflower oil, dairy products and meat. Overall CLA aims to decrease body fat, increase muscle mass and even assist with battling cancer. One diet product that offers CLA is Tonalin CLA. This supplement can be purchased in health food stores, pharmacies and GNC stores. CLA was discovered by one Dr. Michael Pariza back in 1978. Beef and dairy products appear to be the key sources of CLA. Similar to many other weight loss products currently on the market, Tonalin CLA is recommended to be taken in conjunction with a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise routine. The official website states that some studies have shown that CLA may minimize the user's number of fat cells, boost metabolic rates, increase fat breakdown rate and reduce the quantity of fat that's stored after eating. The supplement Tonalin CLA doesn't appear to be offered with a 100% money-back guarantee. However, there are some customer testimonials offered on the official website. There don't appear to be any free trial samples of CLA offered at this time.

List of Ingredients

Not available on the official website.

Product Features

Tonalin CLA is a weight loss supplement that is marketed toward both men and women alike. This diet drug endeavors to increase fat breakdown rates, decrease body fat, increase lean muscle mass, minimize fat cells and even assist with battling cancer. The primary ingredient is CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is an isomer of linoleic acid. There are some clinical studies presented for CLA online, as well as on the official website for the diet product Tonalin CLA. Although Tonalin CLA cannot be purchased through the official website, this diet product is available in health food stores, drugstores and general nutrition centers.

Advantages of CLA

  • Tonalin CLA comes in a simple and convenient pill form.
  • Tonalin CLA can be purchased in most health food stores and pharmacies.
  • A healthy diet and regular exercise are encouraged with Tonalin CLA.

Disadvantages of CLA

  • Some components of Tonalin CLA may not be suitable for all individuals.
  • There are no free trial samples of this supplement provided through the official website.
  • Tonalin CLA doesn't appear to be offered with a 100% money-back guarantee.
  • Tonalin CLA is not conveniently available for purchase through the official website.
  • It's difficult to determine whether or not Tonalin CLA comes with any potential side effects.
  • It doesn't appear that Tonalin CLA is approved by the FDA.


Like many diet drugs and weight loss supplements, Tonalin CLA endeavors to assist with anything from an increased fat breakdown rate within the body, to decreased body fat, to increased lean muscle mass, to minimizing fat cells. On the bright side, the active component CLA comes naturally from meat, safflower oil and dairy products, and is claimed to assist with battling cancer. A diet rich in these foods could be enough to get the body the CLA that it needs. However, in regards to the diet supplement form of CLA, it would be nice to see some free product samples of Tonalin CLA provided via the official website, along with a 100% money-back/satisfaction guarantee.

CLA Ingredients and Supplement Facts

Serving Size: 1 softgel
Serving Per Container: 90 softgels
Amount per Serving% DV
Tonalin CLA1000 mg*
- 78-84% Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)**

Other Ingredients: Gelatin, Glycerin and Caramel Color.

  • References
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CLA Side Effects:

From time to time, we encounter a product needing additional attention, like CLA, so in this review we will concentrate on CLA side effects. We took a close look at the ingredients and clinical research. We chose to read through hundreds of dieter comments. We then summarized the info to give you the bottom line.

What You Need to Know

CLA or conjugated linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid found in various foods such as eggs, milk and beef. The ingredient can’t be produced by the human body. You can take CLA in pill form. Typically, dieters take one capsule per day, which supposedly increases metabolism and weight-loss. It’s helpful that the supplement can be consumed in pill and powder form.

CLA, in its original form, was discovered in 1978. The supplement is available to purchase through various retail and health food stores. We do like that the product is affordable and it has been around for decades, but read on…


The first concern with CLA side effects was jitteriness. “CLA is intended to boost metabolism and increase weight-loss,” said our Research Editor. “You don’t expect the ingredient found in everyday foods to cause adverse reactions.”

“I started taking this product 2 days ago and I am dizzy. Every time I take it I feel lightheaded,” commented a customer.

“What bothered me was hours later I still felt jittery and wired. I took the serving at around 2:30 p.m. I figured it would eventually pass but it didn’t. I attempted to sleep at 1 a.m that night (almost 12 hours later) and I still felt uncomfortable and anxious,” reported a user.

Stomach Issues

Based upon some customer comments, the CLA side effects included stomach issues. “Every time I take this I get very sick to my stomach. I’m done feeling like crap, I’ve tried this at least five times and each time I feel like I’m going to have to run to the bathroom,” reported a user.

“Made my stomach upset and made me flushed in the face every time I took it,” offers a consumer.

“I have been taking this for 3 and a half weeks, the first week and a half it caused stomach discomfort with everything I ate,” said a dieter.

We’ve researched lots of products and we’ve found it takes something simple, like jitteriness, to cut down your chances of long-term success. If CLA side effects are an issue, the dieter needs to take that into consideration.

The Science

There are studies suggesting CLA will assist with weight-loss, but the findings were mixed. According to the Journal of International Medical Research, “CLA reduces body fat but not body weight in healthy exercising humans of normal body weight.” Also, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states,”A 3.4-g daily CLA supplementation for 1 y does not prevent weight or fat mass regain in a healthy obese population.” At DietSpotlight, finding concrete evidence supporting claims is critical. If there’s no real proof, that’s concerning.

The Bottom Line

After taking a comprehensive look at CLA side effects, we’ve come to a conclusion. We like that the supplement is widely available and that it’s found in foods, but we can’t recommend it because the published scientific research is inconclusive. Plus, we’re concerned about the potential side effects caused by CLA.

If you want to shed those extra pounds, we recommend going with a supplement with no side effects that’s supported by published clinical research.

Dietspotlight Burn is among the best supplements we’ve seen this year. The product’s formula is a four-ingredient proprietary blend, which has been shown in published scientific studies to accelerate fat loss and enhance metabolism. We checked and there’s no mention of negative side effects. Our look into the product did reveal dieters are seeing great results.

Additionally, the company that makes Dietspotlight Burn is confident in the supplement, so they’re offering a Special Trial Offer, which is quite the deal.

  • References
  • 1. (). . .
Learn More About Dietspotlight Burn »
Summer Banks Dietspotlight Author
About the Author:

Summer Banks, a content strategist at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 products in the past 10 years. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

Rating: 2.8. From 12 votes.
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Leave a comment or review


Can CLA be taken before getting pregant?

Maribel (Editor)

Hi Janet! Please make sure to consult with your physician before starting a new product.

  interfere with station drugs

will it interfere with station drugs?

Stephen (Editor)

Hi BC, by “station” do you mean over-the-counter drugs? It’s best your doctor gives the thumbs up to use this product.

  Did not work for me
Anonymous (Verified User)

Your product CLA Elite 1000 does not work for me. Have tried customer service, can’t understand who’s on the
other end Trying to get my money back.
. Sent emails, they don’t get answered..

  Is this product absorbed by liver?
Brenda Jeter (Verified User)

I suffer from Hep C and have noticed pain and swelling after 2 weeks of taking.Is this product absorbed by liver? I have had no change in weigh.BooHoo!

I need a heads up from Ashley
Afatsawo Kofi Lartevi

I need a heads up from Ashley