97% of dieters just want a product that’s effective. Yeah, we don’t understand the other 3%, either. Our in-depth review focused on GNC Total Lean CLA side effects, ingredients, level of customer care and scientific studies. Plus, we picked apart hundreds of user comments from all over the web. At this point, we compacted and summarized to give you the info you need.
What is GNC Total Lean CLA?
First off, GNC Total Lean CLA is a fat burner. The active ingredient is conjugated linoleic acid 2,000mg; derived from safflower oil. This supplement is supposed to help you maintain lean muscle mass, enhance metabolism and support healthy body composition. The company recommends taking two capsules per day.
GNC Total Lean CLA was released in 2011 and is made by General Nutrition Corporation. You can purchase the supplement through the official website, local GNC stores or through trusted retailers. We like that it contains a natural ingredient and it seems affordable, 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.
While results vary from customer to customer, we did find that users did notice results while using GNC Total Lean CLA. 
“I wanted something on the more natural side of things to aid in weight loss. I feel that in addition to my gym use and diet it has helped me tone up,” reported a customer.
Poor User Reviews – “Unhappy Customers”
We found that not every GNC Total Lean CLA review posted online was positive.  One user stated, “Haven’t seen any results for losing weight. The only thing that I have noticed was acne.”
Another dieter stated, “Already 2 weeks. I don’t see any changes. Neither my weight nor body shape. I have gained some weight.”
Results from GNC Total Lean CLA ingredients may depend on the user.
“I’m not sure how much the weight loss was due to the diet and exercise and how much was due to the CLA but I can attest to very positive results when CLA was combined with diet and exercise,” said a dieter.
“I recommend you take these after each meal! It helps me not feel bloated,” commented another.
Our research has shown that if a specific aspect of a weight-loss product or program is very bothersome, like being connected to negative reviews, the likelihood of long-term success is 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.
Previous GNC Total Lean CLA Review (Updated January 22, 2014):
What You Should Know
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.
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.
- 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 Total Lean?
Total Lean or 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?
Total Lean 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.
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 Total Lean 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 Total Lean?
Some users didn’t like the side effects from GNC Total Lean CLA.
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 Total Lean customer service department?
You can contact the GNC Total Lean CLA customer service department by calling 1-877-462-4700, writing letters to GNC 300 Sixth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or by using the contact form on the official website.
Can I contact GNC Total Lean CLA through social media?
Do you know of any special deals or discounts on GNC Total Lean CLA?
There are special deals and discounts on GNC Total Lean CLA, if you sign up for a gold membership.
GNC Total Lean CLA Scientific Abstracts:
A dose effect analysis had suggested that fat loss in comparison to placebo was −0.024 kg · g CLA−1 · wk−1 (P = 0.03). Following adjustment to the median dosage (3.2 g CLA/d) CLA had been effective and created a decrease in fat mass for the subjects of CLA group alone (0.05 ± 0.05 kg/wk; P < 0.001) as well as the group in comparison to placebo (0.09 ± 0.08 kg/wk; P < 0.001). It was concluded that when CLA was administered at a dose of 3.2 g/d, it had created a modest loss in body fat within human subjects. 
The mean (± SD) body fat mass in the CLA-free fatty acid and CLA- triacylglycerol groups were at 8.7 ± 9.1% and 6.9 ± 9.1% respectively. These had been lower than those in the placebo group (P < 0.001). The participants who received CLA-free fatty acid had 1.8 ± 4.3% more lean body mass than participants taking placebo (P = 0.002). The alterations had not been linked to diet and exercise. LDL had elevated in the CLA-free fatty acid group (P = 0.008), HDL reduced in the CLA-triacylglycerol subjects (P = 0.003), and lipoprotein had raised in both groups (P < 0.001) when compared with month 0. The fasting blood glucose had not been changed in any of the groups. Glycated hemoglobin had elevated in all participants from month 0, yet there had not been any significant alterations between the groups and negative effects had not differed within the groups. It had been concluded that supplementation of CLA- triacylglycerol or CLA-free fatty acid in the long-term does decrease body fat mass in healthy overweight adults. 
When a combination of isomers was given to the animal subjects, chemically triggered tumorigenesis of skin, mammary and colon was reduced. There are a plethora of isomers of CLA that are already metabolized to de-saturate and beta-oxidize products, indicating that the metabolites could be important anticancer compounds. Mechanisms of suppression of carcinogenesis could include decreasing cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis and alterations in the cell cycle components. Additionally, CLA modulates markers of eicosanoid formation and immunity in an array of species as well as lipid metabolism and gene expression. CLA is likely to exert blocking properties in carcinogenesis through one or several pathways. 
Participants had felt increased fullness and satiety while experience decreased hunger following 13 weeks CLA intervention when compared to placebo. Appetite, which includes fullness, hunger and satiety were all favorably affected by intake of 1.8 or 3.6 g CLA per day. This had not led to a decreased EI at breakfast time nor did it lead to a body weight management improvement following weight-loss. 
- 1. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans (2007). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. November 11, 2016.
- 2. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans (2004). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. November 11, 2016.
- 3. Inhibition of carcinogenesis by conjugated linoleic acid: potential mechanisms of action (2002). The Journal of Nutrition. November 11, 2016.
- 4. Effect of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation after weight loss on appetite and food intake in overweight subjects (2003). European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. November 11, 2016.
GNC Total Lean CLA Side Effects:
Any weight-loss supplement has the potential to cause harm. Even natural supplements are not guaranteed to free of adverse reactions. While GNC Total Lean CLA side effects are relatively rare, they do affect some users.
If you feel extremely tired, it’s known as fatigue. It may be felt both physically and mentally, depending on what you have been doing recently.
What causes fatigue?
Causes of fatigue range from minor, such as over exercising or a lack of sleep to major, such as diabetes or anemia. Many serious health conditions cause fatigue including thyroid issues, heart disease, depression and sleep apnea.  It may also be caused by menopause, certain medications and your specific lifestyle.
An upset stomach is also called dyspepsia. It’s any type of discomfort felt in the upper abdomen and it’s not a disease.
What causes upset stomach?
The causes of an upset stomach are numerous. Something you ate, a new supplement or medication, an illness (viral or bacterial) or something far more serious may cause your upset stomach. One of the most serious causes of an upset stomach is Crohn’s disease.
Diarrhea is classified as a bowel movement with loose stool happening at least three times in a 24-hour period. It may last a few days, but if it lasts longer, it could be something serious. If the bowel movements become more regular (10 or more in a day) it could also be classified as severe diarrhea.
What causes diarrhea?
Commonly, diarrhea comes along with a bacterial or viral infection. It may be caused by a contamination found in water or food. However, diarrhea may also indicate a more serious medical issue. It may also be a side effect of medication or a new diet or supplement.
If you feel like you might vomit, but you haven’t vomited yet, it’s known as nausea. Sometimes, this feeling leads to vomiting, but it doesn’t always.
What causes nausea?
Some of the most common causes of nausea include chemical toxins, viruses, smells or odor, gallbladder disease, emotional stress, motion sickness, pregnancy, food poisoning and indigestion. It’s also one of the most common side effects associated with health supplements and medication. Even simply drinking green tea on an empty stomach may cause nausea.
GNC Total Lean CLA side effects don’t cause issues with all uses, but some have reported feelings of fatigue, an upset stomach, diarrhea and nausea. It’s best to consult your doctor before starting any new diet or supplement, especially if you’re pregnant or nursing, on any type of prescription medication, suffering from a medical condition or under the age of 18.
GNC Total Lean CLA is a simple product from General Nutrition Centers. This company is one of the larger vitamin retailers. They sell outside brands in addition to their own. Science is around for CLA, but the dieter may expect more than this ingredient can offer.
GNC Total Lean CLA Ingredients and Supplement Facts
Serving Per Container: 45
|Amount per Serving||% DV|
|Conjugated Linoleic Acid (from Safflower Oil)||2000mg||*|
Other Ingredients: Gelatin, glycerin
We focused closely on the GNC Total Lean CLA ingredients to give you the facts.
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
Conjugated linoleic acid  is commonly found in beef and dairy products. It can also come from safflower oil. This substance is often referred to as CLA, and it’s used in all sorts of fitness supplements and weight-loss products.
What is it Supposed to Do?
CLA contains a mixture of natural fatty acids that may help promote heart health, lower blood pressure and improve lean body mass. Conjugated linoleic acid is supposed to reduce unwanted body fat by encouraging the use of stored fat cells as energy.
According to WebMD, “Taking conjugated linoleic acid by mouth daily might help decrease body fat in adults, but it does not seem to decrease body weight or body mass index (BMI) in most people.”
Gelatin is essentially a substance that is derived from animal products. It’s typically colorless and flavorless. This ingredient is used in countless manufactured foods like candy, marshmallows, yogurts, ice creams and gelatin desserts.
What is it Supposed to Do?
Gelatin is often used to manufacture capsules or shells for pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements. This substance basically houses the key ingredients until they reach the stomach, and then the gelatin dissolves.
There is no actual research that supports gelatin as an effective ingredient for weight-loss. However, this component has been shown to work well as a substance for manufacturing shells or casings for supplements and pharmaceuticals.
Glycerin is used to manufacture a variety of food products, dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals and personal care items. This substance is often colorless and odorless. It is a viscous liquid, and it may have a sweet taste.
What is it Supposed to Do?
Glycerin is an inactive component when used in pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements. In fact, it’s typically used to manufacture the gel capsules or casings that house the key/active ingredients.
There is no research that supports glycerin as a key or active ingredient for weight reduction or fat loss. But, the Food and Drug Administration does recognize this substance as a safe component for the manufacturing of capsule supplements and pharmaceuticals.