Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Supplements Helpful For Obesity

This study used about one teaspoon of CLA to 180 overweight adults for one year and found a significant reduction in body fat, by as much as 5 percent.

Dietary CLA refers to a group of isomers of derivatives of linoleic acid. CLA is produced naturally in the gut of grass-eating animals by the fermentative bacteria, which isomerize linoleic acid into CLA. The major dietary source of CLA are meats, such as beef and lamb, and dairy products, such as milk, butter and cheese. The antiobesity, anti-heart-disease, and antidiabetic effects of CLA are supported by studies in animals, which led to the widespread use of CLA in the United States and Europe, especially among obese individuals.

The amount of scientific literature on conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is growing at a phenomenal rate. Animal studies and clinical trials indicate the possibility that CLA could be useful in improving human health in a number of areas:

  • Controlling body fat gain
  • Enhancing immunity
  • Reducing inflammation

How CLA Reduces Body Weight
Animal studies have shown that CLA supplementation inhibits the formation of building fat. It probably does this by influencing lipoprotein lipase, which breaks down fats. Several studies demonstrated the ability of CLA to increase the body's ability to burn or metabolize fats. Finally, it also helps to shrink the size of fat cells.

One of the keys to practically applying CLA to weight loss would be to use it from natural rather than synthetic sources. It is important to understand that once cows, or other grass-eating animals, are fed grains, they stop producing CLA. So the ideal source of getting CLA naturally, and I might add at no charge or risk, is to get them from 100 percent exclusively grass-fed animals. The least expensive way to obtain grass-fed beef would be to find a local farmer that is producing it and purchase it from him directly to avoid high shipping fees. We also carry 100 percent grass-fed beef on our site.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 2004 79(6);1118-1125

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