CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is found in foods such as meat and dairy products.
Research has shown that it can help you to reduce body fat percentages while also helping to maintain lean muscle mass. [toc]
What Is CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)?
Conjugated Linoleic Acid is naturally produced by grazing animals such as cows, goats and deer.
Each of these animals has a unique enzyme found in their digestive system that converts the omega-6 fatty acids found in green plants into CLA.
This is then stored in the milk tissue and milk of the animal.
Technically CLA is a trans fat, but it is different from the trans fats that are produced through industry, such as those used in baked goods and junk food.
Naturally produced trans fats have been found to offer numerous health benefits .
Benefits Of CLA
CLA has been shown to help:
- Reduce body fat
- Maintain lean muscle mass
- Can improve heart health
- Lower bad cholesterol
How Does CLA Work?
CLA can interact with your body’s enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which is an enzyme that helps to break down fatty acids from triglycerides, which are then released into the cells of your tissues.
Basically, if you consume enough CLA daily then it can help to break down fat cells, or can help burn fat.
Research has also shown that it can do this without you losing your hard-earned muscle mass.
Often when you ‘cut’ you will find that if you are not careful with your diet then you may lose muscle mass, which is something that you don’t want to happen if you have an upcoming show or a holiday that you wish to look your best for.
Is CLA Proven To Work?
There have been a number of studies that have shown the benefits of CLA .
A recent study looked at the results of 53 normal people who took CLA supplements, with those taking the supplements losing 3.8% body fat compared to those who did not take the supplement.
Another study on obese subjects saw a significant reduction in body fat over the course of 12 weeks.
It has been concluded that in order to see the best results from CLA you need to consume between 1.4-3 grams of it daily.
Unfortunately, this can be difficult to achieve with diet alone as it is found in very low amounts in food, while these foods also contain high amounts of saturated fat.
This is where supplements come in, as they can help to increase your intake of CLA without the dangers of a diet full of saturated fat.
Potential Dangers Of CLA Supplements
There are studies that suggest that taking CLA in supplement form is completely safe with no risk of side effects. However, there are other reports that suggest otherwise.
There have been studies that have shown that CLA can increase inflammation within your body , this can be dangerous as chronic inflammation has been linked to obesity, cancer and heart disease .
Another study has suggested that using a CLA supplement could significantly increase the production of liver enzymes, which suggests inflammation and possible liver damage .
I would recommend avoiding taking large doses of CLA, or to use it for an extended period of time.
Foods Rich In CLA
If you are looking to increase your intake of CLA naturally through your diet then I would suggest adding the following foods to your shopping list:
- Butter: 6.0 mg/g fat
- Lamb: 5.6 mg/g fat
- Mozzarella cheese: 4.9 mg/g fat
- Plain yoghurt: 4.8 mg/g fat
- Sour cream: 4.6 mg/g fat
- Cottage cheese: 4.5 mg/g fat
- Fresh ground beef: 4.3 mg/g fat
- Cheddar cheese: 3.6 mg/g fat
- Beef round: 2.9 mg/g fat
As you can see dairy products are a major source of CLA.
The following are some questions that are often asked. If you have any questions of your own then you can submit them below using the comment form provided:
Are CLA And Fish Oil The Same?
While they are both fatty acids, CLA and fish oil are not the same. They both offer numerous health benefits however and can be used together for other health benefits too.
For instance, when used together conjugated linoleic acid and omega 3 fatty acids increase mitochondrial biosynthesis and metabolism in skeletal muscle cells .
Can CLA Cause Bloating?
There have been reports that CLA could cause intestinal irritation that could cause diarrhoea, stomach pain and bloating.
Can CLA Make You Tired?
Yes, there is a risk of feeling tired or experiencing fatigue when using CLA.
Does CLA Cause Acne?
Acne is not a common side effect of CLA.
Will CLA Cause Headaches?
If you have been suffering from diarrhoea then you are at risk of dehydration, which can cause dizziness, headache and dry skin. It is important to stay hydrated.
Can CLA Cause Nausea?
There is a risk of nausea when using CLA supplements.
Does CLA Cause Gout?
CLA could raise uric acid labels that can affect your gout. However, I would suggest speaking to your doctor if you suffer from gout.
Can You Take CLA When Pregnant?
It is advised that if you are pregnant or breastfeeding that you avoid CLA supplements.
Who Shouldn’t Take CLA Supplements?
This who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid CLA supplements.
Also, those with bleeding disorders, diabetes or metabolic syndrome should avoid it too.
Will CLA Affect Birth Control?
I would advise speaking to your doctor if you have any concerns about birth control.
In Conclusion: Is CLA Good For You?
It is clear that CLA has the potential to offer numerous health benefits to you.
What is less clear is the potential risk of side effects. For this reason, I would suggest sticking to a low dosage if you are looking at supplementation.
Where Can You Buy CLA?
If you are interested in seeing the fat-burning benefits of CLA for yourself then I would suggest that you take a look at the CLA supplement available on the Evolution Slimming website.
This particular supplement contains 1,000 mg of CLA in each capsule. Therefore for best results, you should take 3 capsules daily.
A bottle of 60 capsules will cost £6.99 ($11), which is incredibly cheap. So you can experience the benefits yourself without much cost.
All Evolution Slimming products are made using the highest quality ingredients, and the best manufacturing processes (its laboratory is both GMP and FDA certified).
Every order comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, with FREE delivery available for all UK orders.