Does CLA Help With Weight Loss?

February 25, 2018


Does CLA Help With Weight Loss?

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The busy daily life has taken much time from us that some people find it unable to have to prepare a nutritious meal.

Instead, their only option is to head to fast food chains or restaurants where sources of ingredients and the preparation are still under the question of safety and health.

Food used to be our only source of nutrition. Since the society advances, dietary supplements appear to help us solve the timing problem above and at the same time provide us with needed vitamins and elements that our bodies require.

Dietary supplements are not drugs [1]. Therefore, you can find them at local pharmacies and online without any prescription from doctors. Dietary supplements exist in many forms such as pill, capsule, liquid, and tablet.

One of the dietary supplements that receive a lot of attention among gym-ers and people who want to lose weight lately is called CLA. You may have heard of CLA but what it actually is seems to be unclear. Why is it so famous among bodybuilders and people who want burn fat? Does CLA help with weight loss?

In this article, we will answer all the questions above, and especially focus on the subject “does CLA help with weight loss” to clear any uncertainty about this supplement.

What is CLA?

CLA is a short form of Conjugated Linoleic Acids which consists of about 28 linoleic-acid isomers [2]. Linoleic acid is the most found Omega-6 fatty acid in meat from grass-fed animals, vegetable oils, and dairy products. Conjugated in Linoleic Acids here implies the arrangement of carbon bonds (double bonds) in the molecule.

While the arrangement of the double bonds can create many forms of CLA, the most commonly found are c9t11 and t10c12 [3]. The double bonds in CLA refer to cis (c) and trans (t) double bonds. C9t11 and t10c12 suggest where these bonds are on the fatty acid molecule.

What is CLA
CLA is a short form of Conjugated Linoleic Acids which consists of about 28 linoleic-acid isomers.

In summary, CLA is a kind of polyunsaturated fatty acid with the double bonds of cis and trans. This makes CLA a natural trans fat. Unlike industrial trans fats which are proved to be harmful to human’s body, CLA is natural and beneficial for the body.

Usually, our bodies get CLA from meat and dairy products, especially from grass-fed animals like cows and goats. The average intake of CLA in the US is around 151 mg for women and 212 mg for men daily [4].

The CLA from supplements you take, however, come from a different source: altering safflower and sunflower oil. Because of that reason, the type of CLA in supplements are mostly t10c12, while in natural food it is mainly c9t11 [5].

CLA supplements are common in pills and syrup. The syrup is quite easy to take while the pill tastes a bit bitter. The concentration of CLA in supplements should also put under consideration. The level of 80% CLA will bring maximum results.

CLA is believed to have many capacities. The most famous one is to cause a reduction of body fat in human bodies. Others include enhancing the immune system, controlling type 2 diabetes and increasing metabolism.

Among those, the capacity of burning fat of CLA has gained a lot of attention. It is undoubtedly a miracle to take supplements to lose weight. Therefore, it also causes lots of controversies on whether it is true that CLA has a positive effect on weight loss.

BEST CLA SUPPLEMENT: A COMPLETE BUYING GUIDE will help you know more about different CLA supplements and make a right decision which CLA supplement is suitable for you.  

If you are about to buy CLA, or even if you have been using CLA for a while and still find yourself wondering the same thought, then it’s time to find out whether it is true that CLA helps your body slimmer. Does CLA really help with weight loss? The answer is right below.

Does CLA help with weight loss?

Many people hesitate using CLA even though it has gained fame as a fat-burner supplement. The reason why they are skeptical is understandable. Since many body-slimming products are ineffective, CLA could just be one among thousands of them. Does CLA help with weight loss?  

The capacity of body fat reducing of CLA was found in a study with mice. The obese mice quickly reduced within a short period of time as much as 60% of their body fat. Does it sound like a miracle? A further experiment was conducted on the human body by Jean-Michel Gaullier. His result was later published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Over 100 overweight men and women involved in the experiment where they were asked to take CLA supplements without changing their daily diet or go for extra exercises. After 12-month length, Gaullier came to conclude that CLA does help with weight loss.

Gaullier conducted another experiment later with obese volunteers with a dosage of 3-4g per day within 6 months. The result showed that their BFM numbers decreased profoundly. So did body fat in some of their specific regions in the body.

Does it sound convincing to you? Another study conducted in 2001 called “Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Reduces Body Fat Mass in Overweight and Obese Humans.” came up with the same result, concluding that CLA does help with weight loss [6].

The mechanism of this wonderful capacity of CLA lies behind the fact that CLA helps balance energy intake and energy expenditure. In other words, CLA increases the body’s need for energy and at the same time decreases the energy our bodies absorb.

CLA has shown to has incredible effects on adipose cells where fat cells are broken down to FFAs (a short form of free fatty acids). It also reveals that CLA increases the use of unused fat in the body, especially in fat cells, lipocytes as well as skeletal muscle. Even though it does not help lose weight miraculously in the human body like what happened in mice, CLA has proven its credibility in body fat reducing.

Some people argue that there are many CLA users failed to recognize any changes in their body mass. This is because the effectiveness of CLA depends on many factors such as the dosage of CLA you take, when you take the pills, your body’s absorption capability and the quality of the supplements. Therefore, the result in each person can be various.

Though the targets of the studies and experiments above were mainly overweight men and women without additional conditions such as changing eating habits and doing more exercises, do keep in mind that the result is not significant at all if you don’t alter any of your patterns that lead to accumulated fat in your body.     

Now you have the answer to the question “does CLA help with weight loss,” you may wonder which CLA supplements out there do the magic. If so, the article BEST CLA FOR WEIGHT LOSS will provide you with useful information.

Other benefits of CLA

Does CLA help with other body’s conditions? Besides weight loss, CLA has many other excellent benefits to name.

  • Muscle Enhancer

The fat-muscle relationship in our bodies is reverse. When one decreases, the other grows. That’s the reason why CLA is also an active muscle enhancer. CLA helps balance the ratio between fat and muscle, stimulate the development of lean muscle mass.

What does this mean? It means you don’t need to change your lifestyle and eating habit much but still achieve your desired physique. However, as mentioned above, the change can be sometimes unnoticeable.

  • Decreasing cholesterol and blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity

CLA has proved to have the ability to lessen the blood pressure, blood glucose and insulin sensitivity. These abilities help prevent unwanted atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease [7]. A recent study in 2003 showed that CLA also stimulates the body to turn stored fat into energy, thus preventing heart disease.

Through isomer mechanisms, CLA is able to reduce blood pressure and insulin sensitivity, making it a robust anti-diabetic element.

  • An immune system supporter and a potential cancer fighter [8]

Another wonder of CLA is the fact that it supports and enhances immune system activities. The present of CLA reduces the adverse effects of saturated fat in foods, improving the working condition of the immune system.

Recent research shows that CLA has the potential for cancer prevention. By lowering inflammation, CLA helps lessen the chance to get cancer. Some studies even found positive results of CLA reducing the possibility to get breast cancer in women.

Interested in finding out about CLA’s benefits to our bodies? Have a look at the article WHAT DOES CLA DO for more details.  

How to use CLA to get best result in weight loss

How to use CLA to get best result in weight loss
Meat from grass-fed animals, vegetable oils, and dairy products are the best source of natural CLA.

Meat from grass-fed animals, vegetable oils, and dairy products are the best source of natural CLA. However, it’s likely that the amount your body needs to remain a favorable body fat is not enough. Therefore, taking additional CLA from supplements is inevitable. But how much is the guaranteed dosage for the best result of weight loss?

It is suggested that a dose of 1.8 to 7 grams per day is enough depending on your body condition. However, some studies suggest that a dose of 3.4 grams or more per day does not have any additional benefit to weight loss. Unlike natural c9t11 CLA found in meat and dairy, the chemically altering t10c12 CLA is not as beneficial as c9t11 if it takes in large quantity.   

In fact, taking a large amount of CLA over a long period can cause fat in the liver [9]. Besides, many cases in animals and humans show that accumulated CLA can lead to insulin resistance and reduce the good HDL cholesterol [10].

An excess amount of CLA intakes can lead to many severe side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, flatulence and stomach pain. You should consult a doctor before taking in CLA for safety reason.

When to take CLA?

It’s wise not to take CLA when you are not overweight. The quickest way to check is to calculate your BMI and determine whether you should take CLA or not. CLA should take before or during the meal. Make sure not to take the pills when your stomach is empty.

BEST TIME TO TAKE CLA will provide further information on this matter.

When to take CLA
CLA should take before or during the meal.

Again, there are many factors affecting the length of using CLA. Therefore, it’s hard to answer HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE CLA TO WORK Some people notice the change in a few weeks, whereas some have to wait longer to see any significant shift in their figures. The key is to commit with CLA. You can’t expect to have your desire body within a few days or weeks.

Bottom Line

So does CLA help with weight loss? It is clear that CLA does make considerable changes in body shapes and figures of many people. Though the result may not as profound as some in experiments with animals, CLA has proven its effectiveness. To make the best out of CLA, it’s advisable to take a recommended dosage and commit with CLA until the effect starts to kick in.  

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