4+ Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

4+ Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

CLA is an essential fatty acid that's important for good health. We get small amounts of it from the food we eat. It's also an antioxidant that may have other health benefits.

Studies show that CLA supplements may help people who are obese. But it's complicated. CLA may decrease body fat. It may help people feel fuller after eating. However, it doesn't seem to lower a person's weight or BMI. For now, if you're looking to lose weight, there's not enough evidence to show that taking CLA will help.

As an antioxidant, CLA may have cancer-fighting properties. Studies have shown that women who get a lot of CLA from their diets have a lower risk of colorectal cancer; they may also have a lower risk of breast cancer. However, we don't know if taking CLA supplements would have these benefits, too. More research is needed.

CLA does seem to lower bad LDL cholesterol. But since it also lowers good HDL cholesterol, it's not a standard treatment.

People take CLA supplements for other reasons, ranging from dry skin to multiple sclerosis (MS). We don't know if CLA will help with these conditions.

There's no standard dose for CLA. For obesity, dosages may range from 1 gram to 6.8 grams daily, much higher than the amount of CLA in a typical diet. Ask your doctor for advice.

CLA is in many animal products, milk, beef, and other meat. Grass-fed beef may have higher levels of CLA than grain-fed beef. It's also in sunflower and safflower oil. Cooking food may increase levels of CLA.

Tell your doctor about any supplements you’re taking, even if they’re natural. That way, your doctor can check on any potential side effects or interactions with medications.

  • Side effects. CLA supplements may cause upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue.
  • Risks. CLA supplements may worsen insulin resistance, or how your body absorbs sugar, in people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Given the lack of evidence about its safety, doctors don't recommend CLA for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. It may cause dangerous effects on the liver. It may lower HDL, or good cholesterol. Some research has also documented an increase in inflammation with the use of CLA supplements.
  • Interactions. If you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using CLA supplements. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate dietary supplements; however, it treats them foods rather than medications. Un drug manufacturers, the makers of supplements don’t have to show their products are safe or effective before selling them on the market.


Fundukian, L. ed., The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, third edition, 2009.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center web site: “About Herbs: CLA.”

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database web site: “CLA.”

Rakel D. Integrative Medicine, 3rd. edition, Saunders, 2012.

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/conjugated-linoleic-acid-cla

4+ Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

4+ Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are antihypertensive and anti-obesity fatty acids found in meat and dairy products. Learn about their health benefits and potential risks here.

What is CLA?

Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are poly-unsaturated fatty acids containing both cis- and trans- bonds as well as double bonds.

These molecules are categorized into a family of 28 different types of linoleic acids. The fatty acids are found primarily in meat and dairy products but are also found in supplement form.

The CLA cis-9,trans-11 is mostly found in foods, whereas trans-10,cis-12 is found in supplements [1].

CLAs are often marketed and sold as dietary supplements because of their reputation for helping with weight loss [2].

Health Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid

CLA supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use and generally lack solid clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for them but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.

Blood Pressure

In a study of 80 obese and hypertensive people, CLA combined with ramipril reduced blood pressure more than ramipril alone [3].


A study found that high intakes of both cis-9,trans-11 and trans-10,cis-12 CLA raised the level of HDL cholesterol in healthy women.

HDL cholesterol promotes low cholesterol levels and healthy heart function [4].

Animal & Cell Studies

High levels of glucose result in major heart damage and heart disease. A study in rat cells found that cells pre-treated with CLA and then exposed to high glucose levels had reduced heart damage and a decreased risk of heart disease than cells not pre-treated in the same conditions [5].

In another study, mice with heart disease who were treated with a combination of nitrate and CLA prior to a heart attack had improved heart function post-heart attack [6].

Hardening of the arteries is a heart disease that is caused by the buildup of fat in arteries. This eventually leads to hypertension and strokes. In a cell study, cis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid prevented fat from building up in the arteries [7].

2) Obesity & Weight Management

A study done in overweight Chinese subjects found that CLA supplementation (twice daily dissolved in milk) helped with weight loss over a 12-week period [8].

The supplementation was found to reduce body weight, reduce BMI, reduce total fat mass, and reduce fat percentage [8].

The treatment also reduced waist to hip ratio and reduced subcutaneous fat mass [8].

Studies have shown that CLAs decrease lipid storage by increasing the rate of fat breakdown in fat tissue [9].

The fatty acids also increase fatty acid oxidation and reduce glucose uptake in cultured fat cells [9].

It should be noted, though, that in a similar study, CLA supplementation did not prevent weight or fat regain in obese peoples after initial weight loss [10, 11].

It should also be noted that some studies have found no association between CLA and weight loss [11, 12, 13].

Insufficient Evidence For

The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of CLA for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before taking CLA supplements, and never use them in place of something your doctor recommends or prescribes.

3) Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is often an issue in overweight subjects. The disease causes high levels of oxidative stress in the liver, which eventually leads to liver failure. An eight-week study of 38 obese patients with fatty liver disease found that CLA supplementation helped reduce oxidative stress in the liver [14].

CLA also helped decrease cholesterol levels and improve the fats profile in the liver [14].

4) Type 2 Diabetes

A study done in 55 obese, postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes found that CLA supplementation reduced BMI and improved diabetic symptoms in the subjects [15].

Decreased insulin sensitivity is a major symptom of type 2 diabetes. In mice, it was found that CLA supplementation led to a decreased fat gain. It was also found that while CLA supplementation decreased fat gain, the fatty acids also maintained fat tissue function and maintained insulin sensitivity [16].

CLA increased AMPK levels in mice [17].

Animal & Cell Research (Lacking Evidence)

No clinical evidence supports the use of CLA for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.

5) Muscle Efficiency

A combination of CLA and omega-3 has been found to increase mitochondrial efficiency in muscle cells [18].

This causes an increased amount of energy production from glucose and fat in muscles [18].

6) Bone Mass

A study done in aged mice found that CLA and fish oil work to reduce fat deposits in the bone marrow and increase bone mass [19].

Cancer Research

Not enough evidence is available in humans to know if CLA is useful in any kind of cancer. However, there are some preliminary studies that warrant further investigation.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a devastating disease that affects many lives. One of the reasons that breast cancer is so devastating is that it spreads to other parts of the body both easily and quickly.

One study performed in women with lipogenic phenotype breast cancer found that treatment with CLA over the course of 12 days reduced breast cancer tissue production [20].

Additionally, studies in rat breast cancer tumor cells have found that Gemcitabine (a drug designed to prevent the spreading of tumors) was more effective when used in combination with CLA [21].

Rectal Cancer

A study in patients with rectal cancer who were currently undergoing chemoradiotherapy was conducted. In the study, CLA supplementation was found to reduce tumor angiogenesis and decrease tumor resistance [22].

CLA was shown to improve the efficacy of chemoradiotherapy treatment [22].

In human colorectal cancer cells, CLA has been shown to promote growth arrest by inhibiting energy production in cancer cells [23].

Bladder Cancer

In human bladder cancer cells, Trans-10,cis-12 CLA has been shown to stop growth factor receptor transmission, decreasing rapid cell production and increased cell death [24].

Side Effects & Safety

In obese rats suffering from kidney disease, intake of CLA resulted in worsened kidney function and increased kidney damage due to kidney enlargement [25].

Large doses of supplemental CLC (high in trans-10,cis-12 CLC’s) in rats caused abnormal fat accumulation in the liver [26, 27].

This was also seen in hamsters, mice, and humans who took high doses of CLC. The fat accumulation led to fatty liver disease and decreased liver functionality [26, 27].

Men with metabolic syndrome taking Trans-10,cis-12 CLA had increased insulin resistance and oxidative stress.

These complications led to increased inflammation and diabetes [28].

Less serious side effects of CLA supplementation include excessive flatulence, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.


There is no safe and effective dose of CLA for any health purpose because no sufficiently powered study has been conducted to find one. The majority of the studies outlined in this post used around 5 grams of CLA daily for positive effects without harmful side effects.

Supplements sold in the store are low in grams per pill. This limits the chance that somebody could overdose on CLA.


Natural sources of CLA are dairy products and meat from animals. However, supplements sold in stores are derived from industrially hydrogenated vegetable products and other synthetic products [29].

CLA coming from animal products consist primarily of cis-9,trans-11 CLA whereas industrially hydrogenated vegetable supplements contain primarily trans-10,cis-12 CLA [30].

Source: https://selfhacked.com/blog/conjugated-linoleic-acid/

Does Conjugated Linoleic Acid Work for Weight Loss?

4+ Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Blackzheep/Getty Images  

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid often marketed as a weight loss aid. Naturally found in dairy products and beef, CLA can be synthesized in the lab as a dietary supplement. Proponents claim that CLA can reduce fat, build muscle, and increase energy and endurance.

Others believe that CLA can enhance immune function while improving high cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Despite its popularity among some athletes, the evidence remains split on whether CLA can deliver on these promises.

Conjugated linoleic acid is found in a plethora of weight loss supplements, either on its own or co-formulated with other ingredients, such as caffeine or guarana. While the supplement is mainly used for weight loss, CLA is believed by some to have other health benefits.

A review of studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that CLA, taken at a dose of 3.2 grams per day, produced only a minor loss in body fat (average 0.05kg) compared to a placebo.

In the same year, another review published in Public Health Nutrition reported no difference between the body weight or composition of those who took CLA versus those who took a placebo.

What's more, a component of CLA supplements, known as trans-10,cis-12, was found to have a negative impact on blood sugar and could potentially contribute to the development of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

So conflicting is the research that scientists have a tough time even suggesting how CLA is meant to work. While CLA is believed to suppress appetite, few studies have shown this to have any effect on weight or body fat composition.

current evidence, a 2015 review published in Nutrition and Metabolism concluded that CLA offered no “promising or consistent health effects so as to uphold it as either a functional or medical food.”

Beyond its use in weight loss, proponents of CLA supplementation believe that it can enhance athletic performance by stimulating testosterone production in the Leydig cells of the testicles. While it is true that CLA has this effect, the level of stimulation rarely translates to increased energy expenditure.

In fact, 2015 review in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found inconclusive evidence on many claims made by proponents of CLA supplementation on athletes.

Other health benefits are also largely unsupported, including CLA's use in treating diabetes, the common cold, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), or asthma.

Similarly, while an increased intake of CLA was once linked to a reduction in breast cancer risk, a 2016 review of studies was unable to show any association between CLA levels in breast tissue and the risk of cancer, metastasis, or death.

Where CLA may be beneficial is as adjunctive therapy for high blood pressure. When used with Altace (ramipril), CLA was shown to achieve better control of hypertension compared to Altace alone, according to a 2009 study from China.

Conjugated linoleic acid supplements are generally considered safe if taken as prescribed. Some people may experience side effects, usually mild, including stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, headache, and backache.

CLA is mainly metabolized in the liver. On rare occasion, CLA may cause liver toxicity (usually in people with underlying liver disease). Large doses can also trigger the accumulation of fat in the liver, leading to fatty liver disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Conjugated linoleic acid may also slow blood clotting. Taking a CLA supplement along with an anticoagulant (“blood thinners”) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can further enhance this effecting, leading to easy bruising and bleeding.

Possible drug interactions include:

  • Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Aleve (naproxen)
  • Aspirin
  • Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Fragmin (dalteparin)
  • Heparin
  • Lovenox (enoxaparin)
  • Plavix (clopidogrel)
  • Voltaren (diclofenac)

Conjugated linoleic acid supplements are typically produced as a gel cap and filled with either sunflower or safflower oil. CLA is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as GRAS (“generally regarded as safe”) and typically prescribed at between 3 grams and 6 grams per day. Doses greater than 6 grams may increase the risk of side effects.

Conjugated linoleic acid is not considered an essential nutrient vitamins and minerals. Taking them or not taking them will ly have little tangible impact on your health.

If you do decide to use them, talk with your doctor to understand the potential risks and benefits of treatment. This is especially true if you have diabetes or are on blood thinners. In cases these, CLA may cause more harm than good.

Instead of supplements, you can get plenty of CLA from milk and grass-fed beef and lamb. There are also CLA-fortified eggs in some grocery stores. Portobella mushrooms and acorn mushrooms are good plant-based sources of CLA.

If you decide to give CLA supplements a try, find a brand tested and approved by a recognized certifying body such as U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab. Doing so can ensure the highest quality and safety possible.

When approaching any weight loss strategy, focus on diet and exercise before turning to potentially useless or even harmful supplements. As much as we'd to think there are shortcut solutions, most promise more than they can actually deliver.

The problem with rapid weight loss is that it almost invariably causes the accumulation of fat in the liver. This, in turn, increases the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A slow and steady approach, focusing on good nutrition, routine exercise, and positive reinforcement, will serve you far better than reaching for any weight loss aid.

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  1. Benjamin S, Prakasan P, Sreedharan S, Wright AD, Spener F. Pros and cons of CLA consumption: an insight from clinical evidences. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2015;12:4. Published 2015 Feb 3. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-12-4

  2. Whigham LD, Watras AC, Schoeller DA. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(5):1203-11. doi:10.1093/ajcn/85.5.1203

  3. Silveira MB, Carraro R, Monereo S, Tébar J. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and obesity. Public Health Nutr. 2007;10(10A):1181-6. doi:10.1017/S1368980007000687

  4. Lehnen TE, da Silva MR, Camacho A, Marcadenti A, Lehnen AM. A review on effects of conjugated linoleic fatty acid (CLA) upon body composition and energetic metabolism. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:36. Published 2015 Sep 17. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0097-4

  5. Arab A, Akbarian SA, Ghiyasvand R, Miraghajani M. The effects of conjugated linoleic acids on breast cancer: A systematic review. Adv Biomed Res. 2016;5:115. doi:10.4103/2277-9175.185573

Source: https://www.verywellfit.com/does-cla-work-for-weight-loss-90047

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): Sources, uses, and benefits

4+ Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

Conjugated linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid. People more often refer to it as CLA and use CLA supplements for weight loss, bodybuilding, and diabetes. So, does CLA work and what are the risks?

Although weight-loss diets traditionally suggest avoiding foods with too much fat, there are good and bad types of fat. Nearly all modern dietary guides encourage eating moderate amounts of good fat, both for weight loss and general health. Researchers generally consider CLA a healthful fat.

The main dietary sources of CLA are dairy products and beef. People believe that this particular fatty acid has a range of health benefits. However, while CLA seems to be safe, researchers disagree about its benefits for health.

In this article, we take a close look at the uses, benefits, and risks of CLA in the diet and in supplements.

CLAs are a family of fatty acids originating in animal products, including meat and dairy. CLAs contain omega-6 fatty acids. They are polyunsaturated fat, which the American Heart Association (AHA) say can have beneficial effects on the heart.

CLAs are also technically trans fats, which, in most cases, are unhealthful fats. However, CLA is a natural form of trans fat and does not seem to have the same negative health effects as artificially produced, industrial trans fats. The AHA has linked artificial trans fats to a higher risk of heart disease.

While there is a large amount of evidence to show that industrial trans fats are harmful, the research on natural trans fats and their effects is limited and inconclusive.

Many people use CLA supplements, believing that they have benefits for weight loss and heart health. The evidence is mixed, however, and many of the studies involve animals instead of humans. Consequently, the research is not yet clear about the exact health benefits of CLA.

The following sections discuss the possible benefits of CLA and what the current research suggests.

Weight loss

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), “CLA may help you lose a very small amount of weight and body fat.“

A 2015 review paper states that CLA plays a major role in breaking down fats in the body. This may be why people believe CLA can help with weight loss.

While many studies have shown substantial weight loss in animals, a 2015 review study says that these results do not necessarily apply to humans.

Several studies show that CLA promotes slight weight loss when researchers compare it with placebo groups. However, these examples say that the evidence is inconsistent across the studies.


There are no studies looking at the effects of CLA on bodybuilding specifically. A 2015 review of available research suggests that the benefits of taking CLA supplements alongside exercising vary.

The researchers, however, do include several studies that showed CLA supplements could reduce body fat and improve lean body mass, which is the ratio of fat to body weight.

In one study, participants who took 1.8 mg of CLA for 12 weeks and went to the gym for 90 minutes three times per week reduced their body fat but not their body weight when the researchers compared them with a placebo group. The authors said that CLA might reduce fat deposition.

Weight loss but with fewer benefits?

Recent studies have questioned whether CLA-induced weight loss has the same benefits as traditional methods of weight loss, the latter being calorie restriction and exercise.

One 2017 study compared two groups of obese mice with characteristics of human metabolic syndrome. To test weight loss, the researchers gave the first group of animals CLA supplements while putting the second group on a calorie-restriction diet.

The scientists studied the physical changes between the two groups. Both groups lost equal amounts of weight, though they had different physical changes:

  • The mice that took CLA supplements lost subcutaneous fat, which is a protective, healthy form of fat, without losing harmful visceral fat.
  • The calorie restriction group improved markers of diabetes, such as reduced fasting blood glucose levels, while the CLA group did not. This makes sense as visceral fat is a major contributor to insulin resistance.

The study concluded that calorie restriction was a healthier form of weight loss than taking CLA supplements.

Heart health

Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is when plaque builds up in the arteries. This is a risk factor for heart disease.

One 2018 study on obese mice suggested that taking CLA supplements could protect against atherosclerosis.

However, researchers need to do further studies before they know the true effects of CLA on atherosclerosis in humans.

People can get CLA from their diet by eating foods naturally rich in CLA or by taking CLA supplements.

Meat and dairy

Animal products from ruminants, such as cows, goats, sheep, and deer contain CLA. These products include meat, milk, and cheese.

The amount of CLA in animal products depends on farming techniques. Products from grass-fed animals contain more CLA than those from grain-fed animals.

Over recent decades, numerous studies have shown that grass-based diets improve fatty acid ratios, specifically increasing CLA and omega-3 content, and also increase the healthful antioxidant content in beef.

Feeding animals plant sources of linoleic acid, such as sunflower, soybean or linseed oil, can also increase the amount of CLA in their milk fat.

A popular method of consuming CLA-rich butter is bulletproof coffee, which combines coffee, oil, and butter.

CLA supplements

The type of CLA in supplements is different from natural forms from animal products. To make supplements, manufacturers create CLA by chemically altering plant sources of linoleic acid.

Several studies recommend getting CLA from natural sources instead of supplements.

There are no established guidelines, but past studies show effects from at least 3 g a day. Studies on fat loss used between 3.4 g and 6.8 g a day.

The ODS say CLA seems to be safe when people take up to 6 g per day for a year. Beyond this, studies so far are inconclusive about how much CLA people may consume.

Dramatic results seen in animal studies required mice to consume large amounts of CLA for effects. Also, there are few studies into long-term CLA supplementation.

CLA is present in food products from ruminants, including cows, goats, and sheep. Products from grass-fed animals contain more CLA than products from grain-fed animals.

Official sources state that CLA seems to be safe, though people may experience mild side effects, such as digestive issues.

While studies show potential for the use of CLA in losing weight and increasing lean body mass, more comprehensive studies are necessary.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324858

CLA: Conjugated Linoleic Acid – Benefits and Supplement Info

4+ Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a polyunsaturated fat found in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid found mostly in plant oils.
  • It’s one of the magic ingredients that make grass-fed butter and meat so incredible for boosting your physical performance.
  • CLA helps your body build muscle rather than store fat and has anti-inflammatory properties. It may even help prevent cancer.
  • The best natural sources of CLA are grass-fed beef, butter and full-fat dairy. Animals need real grass and greens in their diets to make CLA, so it’s important to go for grass-fed sources.

If you’ve been following the Bulletproof Diet, or looking for a way to burn more fat on a healthy, whole food diet, you may have come across CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. It’s one of the magic ingredients that make grass-fed butter and meat so incredible for boosting your physical performance.

As one of the few naturally occurring, healthy trans fats, this little fatty acid can burn fat, build muscle, and fight cancer. What’s better? If you’re not already eating conjugated linoleic acid for its benefits, it’s simple to incorporate from delicious, whole-food sources.

As if you needed another reason to love the benefits of grass-fed butter.

What is CLA?

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a polyunsaturated fat found in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid found mostly in plant oils.

Naturally, CLA is a product of digestion by microbes in the first stomach (rumens) of grass-eating animals such as cows, so is found mainly in grass-fed beef and dairy products.

Not only is CLA easy to find on the Bulletproof Diet, it’s also connected to fighting cancer, and helping your body build muscle rather than store fat.

Conjugated linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid. Diets high in omega-6 tend to be inflammatory, which is why you may have heard to avoid omega-6 rich foods. Your body actually needs some omega-6 from food sources, but in a much smaller dose than the standard American diet dishes out.

Related: Learn Your Lipids: A Quick Guide to Healthy Fats

Fortunately, the anti-inflammatory properties of CLA cause it to behave more an omega-3 in the body. The two main active isomers, or types, of CLA are the 9,11 isomer, and the 10,12 isomer, both naturally found in CLA-rich foods.

CLA burns body fat and helps with weight loss

Say it with me: Butter burns fat! The most well-established benefit of CLA is its fat-fighting power. Successful human studies show that doses of 3 to 4 grams daily build muscle mass and promote body fat loss in healthy, overweight, and obese participants.[1][2][3]

Related: Don’t Fear the Fat: 7 Ways Fat can Help You Lose Weight

Conjugated linoleic acid can affect your weight loss through several pathways.

Several studies show that the 10,12 CLA isomer acts on PPAR-gamma receptors to inhibit the genes responsible for fat storage and adipocyte (fat cell) production, preventing weight gain from the start.

[4] (Bonus points: reducing fat storage also boosts your liver performance, and can reduce the fatty deposits behind atherosclerosis.) At the same time, CLA increases your body’s energy expenditure, helping you to burn fat faster than you build it.[5]

Human studies also show that CLA can increase satiety (your feeling of fullness) — part of the reason grass-fed butter is so perfect in Bulletproof Coffee.[6] The theory here is that 10,12 CLA actually decreases the expression of certain hunger-signalling factors in the hypothalamus area of your brain.[7]

Fights inflammation and boosts immune system

The anti-inflammatory functions of conjugated linoleic acid, other inflammation-busting foods, help it support nearly every system in your body. Studies show that CLA plays a role in regulating your body’s inflammatory and immune responses, as well as boosting liver health to support detoxification.[8][9]

Conjugated linoleic acids bolster the immune system and helps build resistance to infections, inflammatory disorders and other immune system imbalances autoimmune disease and allergies.[10]

In one study from The Journal of Nutrition, the anti-inflammatory properties of both CLA isomers successfully reduced inflammation in arthritic mice.[11] It may also benefit people suffering from asthma and allergies by reducing over-responsive airway inflammation.[12]

These results suggest that consuming CLA could benefit other chronic inflammatory conditions.

One of the first findings to bring conjugated linoleic acid into the health scene was its potential as a cancer prevention agent, especially in the fight against breast cancer. In animal studies, supplementing with CLA reduced the number of tumors in rats.

It directly limited the process of cancer formation by lowering the susceptibility of tissues to cancer, and inhibiting the metastasis (spreading) and adhesion of new tumors.

This cancer-busting fatty acid has also been shown to reduce the formation of new blood vessels needed to feed a tumor, and up-regulate a gene called PTP gamma, known for its role in suppressing tumors in breast, kidney and lung cancer. [13][14]

CLA and diabetes, blood sugar & insulin

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found higher concentrations of 9,11 CLA  in adipose tissue was associated with a lower risk of diabetes.[15] Of course, if you’re eating a diet rich in CLA, you’re probably eating less of the toxic processed meat products linked to diabetes.

Many supplements or health sites may lead you to believe that CLA improves insulin response and blood sugar control, however the science behind this claim falls short.

In fact, many trials show that in high doses, isomer 10,12 CLA may actually increase insulin resistance, where 9,11 appears to have no effect.

[16][17] One interesting study showed that supplementing CLA together with olive oil kept the benefits, but prevented the insulin resistance seen from CLA supplementation alone![18] By keeping sugar swings low, a low-glycemic diet may also help you to safely reap the other dietary benefits of CLA.

Builds (and maintains) strong bones

Another advantage of CLA comes from its bone-strengthening and protective effects.

Dietary CLA significantly prevents losses in bone density by both increasing the body’s signals to absorb calcium (parathyroid hormone and calcitriol), as well as reducing the activity of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for eating away at your bones when calcium is low. Who knew that butter could bust osteoporosis?[19][20]

Sounds good. Where do I find CLA?

The best perk of CLA is that it’s ridiculously easy to find on the Bulletproof Diet. The best natural sources of CLA are grass-fed beef, butter and full-fat dairy, with smaller doses found in veal, lamb, turkey and fish.

Animals need real grass and greens in their diets to make CLA, so it’s important to go for grass-fed sources.

Not only does eating grass-fed beef or dairy give you significantly higher omega-3s and CLA, you also get more vitamins K, D, and A, and less toxins than conventional, grain-fed options. [21]]

A four-ounce serving of grass-fed beef contains around 433 mg of CLA, while grass-fed whole milk contains up to 240 mg. [22][23] Grass-fed dairy products and pastured eggs are excellent vegetarian sources of CLA.

How much should I take?

While most of the effective human trials studying CLA gave participants between three to four grams daily, there isn’t yet a consensus on the best dosage for your diet. On average, non-vegetarian men and women on a standard American diet (SAD) consume 152 and 212 mg daily, although studies show this isn’t enough to bring the benefits.[24][25] CLA supplements vs whole foods:

With all these amazing findings, CLA supplements are also gaining popularity. Most of the studies on CLA use direct supplements rather than whole foods; after all, if you feed someone grass-fed beef, how could you know if their outcome is due to CLA, or another of its beneficial compounds?

Outside of the lab, whole food sources are your safest route for dietary CLA, since most supplements are made from processing unhealthy vegetable oils such as safflower or sunflower oils. Plus, who doesn’t an excuse for more butter?

Read Next:

The Ultimate Roadmap to Dairy Products

Ghee vs Butter: Which is Best?

Source: https://www.bulletproof.com/supplements/aminos-enzymes/conjugated-linoleic-acid-benefits-supplement/

Can CLA Supplements Help With Weight Loss?

4+ Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

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Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a slightly modified form of the unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid—the word “conjugated” refers to the type of bond between molecules. Naturally found in dairy products and beef (it's made by microbes that live within the gut of animals), CLA can also be synthesized in the lab as a dietary supplement.

There are two major forms (isomers) of CLA, cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12, and various physiological effects are believed to come from each type. Trans-10, cis-12 is the form most often found in supplements.

The most widely known use for CLA supplements by far is as a weight-loss aid.

It’s a common ingredient in supplements marketed for this purpose, and with claims that it can reduce fat, build muscle, and increase energy and endurance, CLA is popular among some athletes.

There's a wide range of other purported benefits as well, including cancer prevention and the treatment of high cholesterol.

There have been some very promising studies indicating that CLA can improve body composition and weight loss.

But many of these early studies were done on animals, and when the same experiments were tried on people, the results weren't anywhere near as favorable.

Researchers aren't even sure how CLA would work to boost weight loss, though it's theorized to suppress appetite as well as to block fat cells from increasing in size by affecting enzymes that contribute to fat storage.

In studies that demonstrated weight reduction with CLA in humans, the amount of weight loss was usually fairly modest.

 For example, a 2012 study published in the journal Nutrition found that over a 12-week period, people taking CLA lost about one pound more than those not taking CLA. That’s less than a tenth of a pound per week.

The decrease in body fat percent was very small as well. People taking a CLA supplement saw a decrease in body fat that was less than a half percentage point lower than those not taking the pill.

A 2015 review study showed mixed results.

 In another report from 2007, researchers evaluated the results from 18 studies where participants took the supplement for a longer period of time (six months to two years).

 The scientists reported that on average, the people who supplemented with CLA lost more fat than those not taking CLA, but the amount averaged less than a quarter of a pound per week.  

the current evidence at the time, a 2015 review published in Nutrition and Metabolism concluded that CLA offered no “promising or consistent health effects so as to uphold it as either a functional or medical food.

“ And the most recent analysis, a review article from 2019 that looked at 13 studies on overweight and obese people, determined that the efficacy of CLA supplementation on body weight and body fat is “not clinically considerable.”

Besides these disappointing results, other research in 2004 shows CLA may actually be harmful in some people.

For example, in obese men with metabolic syndrome or at high risk for heart disease, CLA supplementation caused insulin resistance, a silent blood sugar problem that increases the risk for prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.

What's more, trans-10, cis-12, the key component of CLA supplements, was found to have a negative impact on blood sugar and could potentially contribute to the development of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Beyond its use in weight loss, proponents of CLA supplementation believe that it can enhance athletic performance in various ways, including by stimulating testosterone production in the Leydig cells of the testicles.

While it's true that CLA has this effect in laboratory tests on cells, the level of stimulation doesn't appear to translate to increased energy expenditure (the total number of calories you burn each day) or muscle development.

A 2014 study from the University of Nebraska reported that athletes provided a daily, 800-milligram dose of CLA for six weeks showed no improvement in endurance (as measured by the VO2 max, a measure of how much oxygen is used during exercise) compared to athletes given a placebo. wise, a 2015 study on 80 non-trained healthy young men who took CLA for eight weeks saw no effect on VO2 max, no change in time to exhaustion, weight, BMI, or waist circumference compared to those who took a placebo.

CLA has also gained attention among resistance-trained athletes as a way to preserve muscles by reducing catabolism (the breakdown of muscle for fuel), as well as to reduce body fat and improve muscle mass during training.

However, supplementation of 6,000 milligrams a day of CLA coupled with 3,000 milligrams a day of fatty acids for four weeks did not significantly affect changes in total body mass, fat-free mass, fat mass, percent body fat, bone mass, strength, serum substrates, or general markers of catabolism during training in one early study from 2002. 

Taken as a whole, there's little convincing evidence that CLA improves athletic performance in any significant way. It's important to note that some studies that reported benefits strength gains and improved body composition used CLA in combination with creatine monohydrate, a supplement that's been widely shown to increase muscle mass and strength on its own.

Other health benefits for CLA supplementation are also largely unsupported, including its use in treating diabetes, the common cold, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), or asthma.

Studies show that while CLA reduces total cholesterol levels, it also reduces HDL cholesterol. HDL is what's referred to as “good” cholesterol, so a decrease in HDL is not a good thing.

As for other effects on heart health, the 2015 review study found that a host of both beneficial and detrimental effects of CLA were observed during clinical studies.

For instance, while participants who took 6,400 milligrams of CLA daily for 12 weeks in one study in 2007 saw slight increases in lean body mass, but also significant decreases in HDL and significant increases in markers C-reactive protein, a sign of inflammation that's associated with a higher risk of heart attack.

Test tube and animal studies have shown that CLA has antioxidant properties and may play a role in disrupting cancer cell replication to reduce the spread of cancer, including breast and colorectal cancer.

 Other possible mechanisms of action include modulation of intracellular signaling; when cells lose the ability to respond to signals from other cells, they may become cancer cells. It's important to note, however, that these benefits are often seen with the type of CLA found in food, not supplements.

While preliminary studies in humans suggest potential anticancer effects, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center says that clinical trials to confirm safety and effectiveness are needed.

Some people may experience mild to moderate side effects, including stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea.

Conjugated linoleic acid may also slow blood clotting. Taking a CLA supplement along with an anticoagulant (“blood thinners”) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can further enhance this effecting, leading to easy bruising and bleeding.

Possible drug interactions include:

  • Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Aleve (naproxen)
  • Aspirin
  • Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Fragmin (dalteparin)
  • Heparin
  • Lovenox (enoxaparin)
  • Plavix (clopidogrel)
  • Voltaren (diclofenac)

CLA supplements are typically produced as a gel cap and filled with either sunflower or safflower oil. CLA is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as GRAS (“generally regarded as safe”) when taken as instructed.

Since various formulations contain different amounts of CLA, it's wise to take a pure CLA supplement or make sure you're getting the right levels from combination supplements. Doses typically range from 3 to 6 grams per day.

Keep in mind that dietary supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that they're largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what's specified on the product label.

Also be aware that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications hasn't always been established.

You can get tips on using supplements here, but if you're considering the use of CLA supplements, talk with your primary care provider first. Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

Due to the disappointing results on CLA supplementation and weight loss, as well as the potential adverse side effects, some researchers have suggested that eating foods that naturally contain CLA might be an alternative to losing weight and deriving other health benefits.

For instance, in one study published in 2007, people who had more of the cis-9, trans-11 CLA isomer in their fat had a lower risk of diabetes. That isomer is the type found in meat (grass-fed animals may have higher levels) and dairy products.

CLA is also in sunflower and safflower oil.

Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/conjugated-linoleic-acid-weight-loss-3231585