CLA supplements may be a new term to you, but this supplement is catching the attention of serious bodybuilders and those wanting to lose some extra body fat. From promoting fat burning even while you sleep to increasing satiety and reducing food cravings, CLA supplements truly seem to be an effective aid for those wanting to shed some extra flab.
Everyone at some point or the other is inclined to take care of their health. One of the most common desires is to have a fit body. To achieve their goals they may commence on an exercise regime and may even check out ways to cut down food intake. To use dietary supplementation to reduce weight is not far behind as diet and exercise are the two important factors for healthy living.
There are supplements that are naturally sourced, prepared and packaged. While others are manufactured synthetically. It is always useful to make well-informed decisions in this area. This article is an endeavor to give an understanding with relevant and appraised information to help a probable future use of one of those dietary supplements in making a good choice for health.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)?
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in meat and dairy products. It is a product of digestion by grass-eating animals like cows. Linoleic acid is also found in plant oils.
Conjugated Linoleic Acids were first studied in the 1980s for its many health benefits like anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic/obesity characteristics. It has gained popularity as an important component of the supplementary diet for weight loss and for developing lean muscle mass. It is claimed to control type 2 diabetes, help people reduce the fat composition in their bodies by speeding up metabolism.
Among the first trials that brought CLA into the limelight, as a nutrient, was its properties to prevent cancer, especially breast cancer. CLA supplementation reduced the number of tumors in rodents. It seems to have worked on stalling the development of blood vessels that fed these tumors.
The Mechanism of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA occurs in many forms, however, two forms have been considered to be effective for health. They are called c9, t11 and t10, c12 forms. C9, t11 is prevalent in food while t10 and c12 are found in CLA supplements linked to weight loss.
CLA is a polyunsaturated fat that belongs to the family of fatty acids. It contains omega-6 fatty acids. Do polyunsaturated fats affect health? According to the American Heart Association, polyunsaturated fats can be beneficial to the heart. It helps reduce bad cholesterol in the blood thereby lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. They are a source of nutrients to maintain the cells in the body.
Polyunsaturated fat contributes to vitamin E which is an antioxidant vitamin that most people need in the USA. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are obtained from polyunsaturated fats. They are key components that are required for many functions in the body.
Trans fats affect health and well-being, however, CLA that occurs naturally has shown evidence of reducing fat and increasing energy and endurance apart from improving immunity and cholesterol levels.
Experimentation with animals showed in the 1990s that CLA decreased fat and increased lean body mass in animals, rodents, and chickens. It was in the 2000s that its effect on humans was studied. The National Centre for Biotechnology Information in 2000 issued their findings of the dose-response associations of conjugated linoleic acid with body fat mass in humans. The examination included 60 individuals who were adults, overweight. They were divided into 5 groups receiving 1.7,3.4, 5.1, and 6.8 grams of CLA per day for twelve weeks. There was a noteworthy trimming of body fat among the groups that were given 3.4 and 6.8 grams of CLA.
A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that overweight subjects taking 3.4g of CLA per day for 2 years saw a sustained reduction in body fat mass. The greatest fat loss occurred during the first 6 months of supplementation. The objective of the investigation was to ascertain if CLA was effective on body composition and was a safe nutrient.
Men and women who volunteered were divided into three groups. CLA- free fatty acid (FFA), CLA – triacylglycerol and placebo. The study concluded that long-term supplementation with CLA-FFA or CLA-triacylglycerol reduces BFM in healthy obese adults. Subjects with higher body fat were more benefited from CLA supplements than those with less body fat.
Natural Food Sources of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Animal products are the main sources of CLA. CLA content is much higher in ruminant animals than in nonruminants with the exception of turkey. Veal has the lowest and lamb has the highest content of CLA. Dairy products such as milk, butter, yogurt contained a significant quantity of CLA. Cheese that is aged or ripened for more than ten months has very low amounts of CLA.
Seafood contains low quantities with a range of 0.3 to 0.6mg CLA in every gram of fat. Plant oils contain comparatively very little CLA between the ranges of 0.1mg in coconut oil to 0.7 gram in safflower oil.
Fresh beef provides 52.9 milligrams of CLA in each serving of supplement that contains beef as one of the main components. Lamb contributes 73.7 milligrams of CLA in every serving. In condensed milk, there are 98.7 milligrams of CLA. Sour milk has 78.7 milligrams in one serving. CLA is also found in human blood and tissues in low amounts.
Some food sources may not have sufficient CLA. Beef and dairy products are part of the regular diet of many people, naturally, the levels of CLA should be sufficient. Regrettably, the production of meat and milk products has changed over the years. The industrialization of meat from animals that are not grass-fed affects the content of CLA present in the proteins.
Top 10 Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Supplements
Since your diet may be insufficient in providing you with adequate amounts of CLA, dietary supplements containing CLA is the next best choice. Now let’s have a look at the top 10 ranked CLA supplements in the market.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid 2000 is a soft gel that gives 2000mg serving of nutritional fats with 80% of pure CLA. The product supports weight loss, promotes lean muscles and immunity. It also increases the energy levels in the body. The word conjugated refers to the arrangement of double bonds in the fatty acid molecule. CLA 2000 contains 100% natural ingredients and is manufactured in a facility that is FDA approved. The company follows the GMP protocol in manufacturing.
This supplementary dietary soft gel is free from gluten and is a non-GMO product. CLA is obtained from Safflower oil. The other ingredients are gelatin, glycerin, and purified water. The bottle contains 60 soft gels with a recommended dosage of 2 soft gels each day. CLA 2000 is made in the USA. It does not contain additives, fillers or any binding agent. The supplementary diet should be used along with a well-balanced diet and an exercise routine.
The product can be purchased without a medical prescription. Apart from CLA it also contains oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid. The company that manufactures CLA 2000 is called Vita Balance that serves the North American market. The mission of Vita Balance “is to source and manufacture the finest quality natural supplements whilst encouraging our customers to invest in their wellbeing”.
- Contains natural ingredients
- 80% is made up of pure CLA
- Manufactured in the USA
- Free from gluten, additives, fillers, and binding agents
NatureWise CLA 1250
Naturewise CLA 1250 soft gels contain 80% pure CLA providing 1000mg through 1250mg soft gels. CLA is extracted from Safflower oil. The ingredients are of the best quality and are obtained from certified sources and standardized to give high potency. CLA supports fat loss and aids the gain of lean muscles.
This product works effectively for both men and women. The soft gels work through a process called thermogenesis that causes the burning of the stored fat that gets accumulated in the body. The product does not contain any stimulants, additives and is considered safe for consumption.
CLA 1250 does not contain, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish or fish. Each bottle has a supply for two months with 180 soft gels. The normal dosage is 3 soft gels taken 3 times a day with meals. The source of CLA 1250 is trusted, non-GMO and free from gluten. Each batch of supplementary diet is standardized to provide 80% pure CLA.
The purity and potency of the product are tested by specialized ISO 17025 third party laboratories, which is among the strict procedures of the FDA. This is apart from the normal inspection of the storage, blending and production process of the supplement. The presence of any physical, chemical and microbial contamination is absent because of the stringent testing procedure.
- GMP and NSF certified facility
- Easy to swallow soft gels
- Does not contain any stimulants
- No soy, fillers, additives or artificial ingredients
Max Potency CLA 1250
Max Potency CLA 1250 offers 95% CLA in its servings. Each bottle contains 180 soft gels. All naturally sourced ingredients the CLA is extracted from Safflower oil. The capsule is made of Kosher gelatin that is not animal-based but sourced from fish. The other ingredients are Kosher vegetable glycerin, purified water, and natural carob. The ingredients are non-GMO. The company follows GMP norms in its manufacturing process.
Natural carob is derived from the pod of the carob tree which grows in the Mediterranean region. The sweet pulp of the ripe carob pods is dried, roasted and powdered. Carob has high fiber, low fat, and calcium. It does not contain caffeine. Max Potency CLA 1250 does not contain gluten, soy, fish, peanuts, shellfish, yeast, dairy, egg or magnesium stearate.
The product has no additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients added to it. It should be stored at room temperature away from excessive heat. The bottle has a safety seal. This diet supplementary is not intended for children or pets. The recommended dosage of 3 soft gels 3 times a day before meals should not be exceeded. Taking it prior to a meal helps in its digestion and absorption. Max Potency CLA 1250 is third-party tested for formulation integrity and potency.
- 95% CLA potency
- Contains natural carob
- Does not require refrigeration
- The capsule is made of Kosher gelatin
Bulk Supplements.com CLA
CLA manufactured by Bulk Supplements is in the powder form. It contains 100g of CLA derived from Safflower. The package has 50 servings where each serving is 2000mg (just under one teaspoon). Bulk Supplement CLA does not contain soy, sugar, gluten or dairy products.
The powder can be added to smoothies and beverages. The product is known to boost energy sufficient for a whole day and preserve muscle mass. Bulk Supplements CLA does not have a taste and is hence more easy to swallow. The ziplock packaging keeps the product fresh and protected. Pricing of this dietary supplement from Bulk Supplements.com has been found to be attractive. The supplement is easy to swallow with no bad aftertaste.
The product does not contain any fillers and is lab tested for its quality. Bulk Supplements CLA could increase muscle mass and maintain a healthy weight among healthy individuals.
This dietary supplement has to be stored in a cool dry place. It is not intended for children or for people with a medical condition. Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid this supplement. A consultation with a physician is important before use.
- Economic use of ziplock
- No aftertaste
- Does not contain gluten or dairy products
Bronson CLA 3000
Since the 1960s Bronson Vitamins has established its consistency in the provision of top-quality supplementary products. Bronson CLA 3000 offers 2250 mg of active CLA in each serving. The soft gels are manufactured in an FDA cGMP certified facility.
Extracted from Safflower oil Bronson CLA 3000 is safe and provides 75 to 80% active CLA in each serving. The bottle contains 60 capsules and the directions for use are 2 capsules two times each day with meals or as directed by a physician. A minimum of 4 capsules a day delivers 4500mg of pure CLA. The soft gel capsules are light brown in color.
A one-year, hassle-free money-back guarantee is provided with this supplementary diet. The ingredients are 100% non-GMO and gluten-free. The other ingredients are gelatin, glycerin, purified water, and caramel color. The product is manufactured in the USA under the strictures of the FDA. Bronson CLA 3000 undergoes third-party testing. Best results of this Omega-6 fatty acid acquired with the help of a proper diet and an exercise regimen.
Bronson CLA 3000 does not contain stimulants like caffeine. Intense scrutiny and tests by the experts at Bronson maintain the quality and integrity of the product. This supplementary diet should be kept out of the reach of children. The soft gels can be stored at room temperature. Pregnant and nursing mothers should consult a physician before commencing on a course of this dietary supplement.
- One year hassle-free money-back guarantee
- Approximately 4500mg CLA delivered each day
- No stimulants present
- In-house lab and third-party testing
Met Rx CLA Tonalin 1000
Met-Rx Tonalin is manufactured in the USA. It is tailor-made for bodybuilders, athletes and anyone who strives to achieve a fit body. It is derived from Safflower and does not contain any natural or artificial stimulants. This supplementary diet is a boon for people whose digestive system is sensitive to caffeine. There are 90 capsules in each bottle.
The objective of the formulation is to support body-shaping and toning goals. It should be used in conjunction with intense training and a well-balanced diet which includes sufficient calorie ingestion. The protein combination in this product supports recovery from wear and tear of muscles after intense training and provides fuel to muscles through amino acids.
The other ingredients present in this product are gelatin, glycerin, and caramel color. Each serving delivers 78 to 84% of conjugated linoleic acid.
The capsules are easy to swallow with water. The ingredients are sourced from all over the world and made in the USA. The pricing of Met-Rx CLA Tonalin 1000 is customer-friendly.
Pregnant and lactating women should avoid this dietary supplement. If other medications are being taken the user should consult a physician before taking this supplement. The product is not recommended for people below 18 years of age. It should be stored at room temperature away from excessive heat.
- Boon for people with caffeine sensitivity
- Derived from all-natural safflower oil
- A pre and post-workout supplement
- Contains protein blends
Evlution Nutrition CLA 1000
Evlution Nutrition purportedly supports enhanced metabolism, exercise performance is a weight management supplementary diet. CLA 1000 is formulated scientifically with no stimulants that can cause jitters and crash. The product is designed to use the stored fat of the body converting it to energy. The high metabolic rate of 1000mg blend of Conjugated Linoleic Acid delivered helps to build lean muscles and provides a quick recovery from intense training.
CLA 1000 extracted from Safflower oil is of the purest variety. It does not have any fillers or additives. High-quality ingredients are only used in producing this supplement. It is manufactured in the USA adhering to standards of cGMPs. The other ingredients present in this product are gelatin, purified water, and glycerin. The supplement comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The recommended dosage is one soft gel with meals, 3 times a day. The pack contains 180 soft gels. For those who would like to use a stimulant can stack Evlution CLA 1000 with a stimulant-based supplement during training to boost results.
This dietary supplement is not a magic pill and should be accompanied by a good diet and regular exercise to achieve weight loss and a well-shaped body. The pricing of the product is very affordable. No adverse side effects have been noted.
- Stimulant free
- 30-day money-back offer
- 180 soft gels in one bottle
- Can be stacked with stimulants
Purity Labs CLA 4500
Purity Labs CLA 4500 is formulated to build lean muscles, kick start metabolism and reduce the stored fat of the body. The supplement does not contain stimulants and it claims to have the finest ingredients to deliver the benefits. Non-GMO Safflower oil in its concentrated form delivers 1500 active CLA in every capsule.
Combined with a healthy diet plan and exercise Purity Labs CLA 4500 helps in contouring muscle mass and increasing endurance. It is known to improve moods and motivates the user toward achieving weight and toned body goals sooner.
The supplement comes with a 100% money-back guarantee with no question asked. The 365-day empty bottle offer allows the not-fully satisfied user to return the empty bottle and claim a full refund. The product undergoes rigorous third-party testing before being bottled and sold.
It is manufactured in the USA under the protocol of GMP procedures. 180 capsules are packed in each bottle with serving directions that are adjustable. Only the best ingredients are sourced from trusted partners to deliver the benefits it states on the label.
Purity Labs CLA 4500 capsules do not contain, fillers, trans fats, preservatives, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, soy, sugar, dairy, magnesium stearate, artificial colors or flavors, and wheat. The product is gluten-free. The other ingredients are glycerin, gelatin, and purified water. The product is free from PCB-toxic industrial compound, arsenic, and mercury.
- 365-day empty bottle full refund
- Free from PCB, mercury, and arsenic
- 1500 active CLA in every capsule
- No stimulants
Body Building Signature CLA
Body Building Signature CLA is made up of Omega-6 fatty acids distilled from natural sources of this essential fat like dairy and meat. The supplement supports weight management and protects muscle mass. There are no stimulants present in this product. Delivering 1000mg in every serving, Body Building Signature CLA does not cause any jittery side effects whilst upgrading metabolism.
90 capsules are packed in every container. They are dark brown in color. The minimum dosage is 1 soft gel a day. For the best results, it is recommended to take 4 capsules every day. A combination of good exercise routine and a well-balanced diet will deliver enhanced results in weight-loss and muscle mass.
The other ingredients present in the product are gelatin, glycerin, and caramel color. There are no proprietary blends in this supplement. The product is made in the USA. The capsules are easy to take. The pricing of the supplement is very attractive. It does not have an aftertaste.
- No proprietary blends
- Free of stimulants
- Easy to swallow capsules
- Does not contain fillers
Orphic Nutrition CLA 2000
Orphic Nutrition CLA 2000 is made from the best quality Safflower oil. 100% natural ingredients make up the composition of this supplementary diet that delivers 95% CLA through every capsule. The formulation is designed to keep food cravings at bay while the supplementary diet tones and maintains the weight of the body. The best results are accomplished when proper diet and regular exercise are included.
The product supports the development of lean muscle mass through the metabolism of accumulated body fat. It is known to regulate the levels of cholesterol, triglyceride, and sugar. Orphic Nutrition CLA 2000 is manufactured in the USA and the company adheres to the strict norms of GMP. The natural ingredients contained in this dietary supplement are oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid.
The other ingredients are gelatin, glycerin, and purified water. It does not have any jittery side effects. The capsules are free from gluten, preservatives, additives, pesticides, allergens and artificial substances. The product consists of only non-GMO ingredients. Therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties of this product are known to ease joint pains.
Orphic Nutrition CLA 2000 is intended for adults only. A consultation is necessary for pregnant women and people with a medical condition prior to taking this product. Two capsules every day is the recommended dosage. It should be taken at least 20 to 30 minutes before a meal and with water.
- Third-party tested
- No allergens, binders or fillers
- 100% vegetarian capsules
- Follows GMP standards
7 Health Benefits of CLA Supplements
CLA Reduces Body Fat Mass
Conjugated Linoleic Acid demonstrated in animals that it reduces body fat mass (BFM). Studies on humans also exhibited effects on overweight individuals. A study conducted with 60 obese participants was undertaken in 2000. They were divided into five groups and over a period of 12 weeks were given either a placebo (olive oil) of 1.7, 3.4, 5.1 or 6.8 grams of CLA every day.
47 of them completed the study and it was found that the body fat mass of the group that took CLA showed a significant reduction compared to the group that had taken the placebo. There was no noteworthy difference in lean body mass, body mass index, blood safety variables or in blood lipids. The changes were noted in the group that had taken 3.4 and 6.8 grams of CLA. The study suggested that CLA does affect BFM and also no appreciable difference was noted among those volunteers who had taken less than 3.4 grams CLA.
The effect of CLA over a long term period was also examined. The investigation was taken up to find out if CLA was beneficial for one year on the composition of the body in healthy overweight adults. 180 men and women were divided into three groups. They received CLA-free fatty acid (FFA), CLA triacylglycerol or a placebo (olive oil).
The average body fat mass of those who received CLA-free fatty acid and CLA triacylglycerol was lower than that of those who had taken the placebo. The group that had taken CLA-free fatty acid also showed have higher lean body mass than those who had been given a placebo. The study concluded that long-term use of CLA did reduce BFM (body fat mass) in healthy overweight adults.
Summary: CLA intake promotes fat burning and helps achieve a higher lean body mass in healthy, overweight adults.
CLA Increases Satiety And Reduces Food Intake
Whether its meal time or not, we eat more if we feel hungry. Sometimes, even if you had a snack, you don’t feel satisfied and may feel like eating more. Satiety is the feeling of being satisfied after a meal and not wanting more food. CLA promotes weight loss by increasing feelings of satiety and thus helping us reduce our food intake.
Nineteen healthy volunteers were given a beverage test breakfast that contained vegetable oil CLA or medium-chain triglycerides (MCT- are partially man-made fats used sometimes to reduce cholesterol or fats in the body) The time between food intake, food sufficiency, energy intake at lunchtime and for the rest of the day were measured.
It was noted that the CLA breakfast takers exhibited the most delay in requesting for a meal. Energy intake was also lesser with those who had the CLA and MCT breakfasts throughout the day. This study signified that conjugated linoleic acid and medium-chain triglycerides displayed important roles in maintaining satiety.
Summary: CLA helps with weight loss by boosting feelings of satiety and this helps us reduce our food intake and total calories.
CLA May Improve Asthma
The present treatment for asthma has its constraints and side effects. This has promoted interest in alternative therapies. The biological characteristics of conjugated linoleic acid have given indications that benefit asthma treatment.
The objective of the examination was to find out if CLA was effective on mild asthma. 28 adults in the age group of 19 to 49 years were randomly given 4.5 grams of CLA or placebo each day for a time period of 12 weeks. The study showed noted improvement in airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in the last week of the study period than when they started the experiment. A noticeable difference in BMI with those who took the placebo was also observed.
It was deduced that CLA treatment can be added to the normal care given to the people who were overweight and had mild asthma. It provided betterment in asthma hyper-responsiveness and body mass index.
Summary: CLA intake may benefit people with mild asthma, especially those who are overweight.
CLA May Lower The Risk Of Diabetes
An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found higher amounts of CLA isomers 9 and 11 in the adipose tissue linking it to the risk-lowering of diabetes. The adipose tissue stores energy in the form of fat and is mainly located below the skin. It can also be found around internal organs.
The experiment was undertaken to ascertain the association of conjugated linoleic acid with insulin regulation. 232 adults with diabetes and 1512 adults who did not have diabetes volunteered for this study. They were residents of Costa Rica. The CLA isomers cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10 and cis-12 in the adipose tissue and 48 other fatty acids were tested. The observations of isomers cis-9 and trans-11 CLA associated with diabetes risk corresponds to the theory that CLA may affect insulin regulation.
Summary: CLA intake may lower the risk of diabetes by positively impacting insulin regulation.
CLA May Promote Fat Oxidation During Sleep
Burning fat as we sleep sounds like a dream come true. But CLA seems to be able to do just that. Studies have noted that fat burning is higher during sleep in CLA supplemented study subjects than the control groups.
In 2007, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied the impact of CLA on energy spending, utilization of macronutrient and the oxidation of fat through supplemental diet in obese adults for six months. 23 subjects were given either 4 grams of 78% active CLA isomers(cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10 and cis-12 isomers) per day or 4 grams of safflower oil per day. Energy disbursement and substrate utilization were recorded before the 6 months experiment and after the test period.
The study showed a difference in fat utilization between the CLA and placebo groups during sleep after the 6 month period. The CLA group had less energy from protein during sleep. Expending of energy in both groups was different. The investigation showed that a mixed isomer CLA supplement definitely changed fat oxidation and energy.
Summary: Researchers have observed that fat oxidation is increased during sleep in people who take CLA supplements in comparison to those who don’t.
CLA May Help Reduce Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension
In 2005, the Department of Family Medicine in Colombia and Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research published an article on their investigation of the effects of CLA and calcium on pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and also if it reduces vascular endothelial dysfunction in pregnant women.
PIH is the most common issue in pregnancy and affects at least 12% of pregnancies. It is one of the main causes of fatalities during pregnancy. The tests were conducted at four outpatient clinics in two developing countries. 48 participants who were pregnant for the first time or has been pregnant one time were included for this trial. They were either younger than 19 years or older than 35 years. The women had a family history of pre-eclampsia and diastolic notch wherein high blood pressure occurred during this period. 24 women were given 600mg of calcium and 450 mg of CLA and the remaining 24 women took the placebo.
The experiment was between week 18 to 22 of pregnancy till delivery. CLA and calcium supplements reduced the incidence of PIH significantly. Endothelial inefficiency was reduced to a noted extent due to the CLA-calcium combined supplementation. The thin membrane that forms a lining inside the heart and blood vessels in the endothelium. The cells of the endothelium membrane release substances that play an important role in the vascular relaxation and contraction of the blood vessels. It also helps in controlling blood clotting, immune functions, and platelets.
The investigation arrived at the conclusion that CLA and calcium supplements decreased the frequency of PIH and improved the function of the endothelium. This finding was published by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
Summary: The combination of CLA along with calcium has been found to reduce pregnancy-induced hypertension and vascular endothelial dysfunction in pregnant women.
CLA May Enhance Immunity
Having a stronger immunity helps you fight infections and overcome diseases. Including foods and dietary supplements that enhance your immunity ensure you get healthier and stronger. Among its many health benefits, CLA also seems to boost immunity.
CLA seems to play a protective role in the prevention of breast cancer. Surveys have shown that conjugated linoleic acid has health-upgrading effects in atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, diabetes, insulin resistance, inflammation, and various types of cancer, breast cancer. The isomers cis-9, trans-11 and trans 10 and cis-12 of CLA have shown to positively affect immunity.
Summary: CLA intake has been found to positively enhance immunity. Studies have noted its protective effects in the prevention of diseases such as breast cancer.
How to Take Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Supplements
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation was the first to license CLA as a dietary supplement. Each brand of CLA supplements has a different formulation. A user should calculate the quantity of this nutrient is given or if it equals 3.4 grams. For example, a capsule containing 75% CLA and it is 1000 mg the user receives 750 mg of CLA and would have to take five capsules each day for the recommended average dose of 3.4 grams.
Most often people take CLA supplements before or with meals. Side effects if present can be decreased if it is taken along with low-fat milk that contains protein. No adverse side effects of CLA supplements have been reported.
The University of Alberta in Canada is developing a method to increase the content of CLA in milk by adding oils like canola, safflower, linseed, and flaxseed to the diet of animals that produce milk. The formulation would be patented.
The research of Pariza and Cook has spawned studies that have since demonstrated additional health benefits of conjugated linoleic acid(CLA)— from immune system support, cancer reduction, and antioxidant protection to positive inflammatory response.
Summary: There is no standard dose for CLA. The average amount to be taken by an overweight individual varies from 1 gram to 6.8 grams a day. It is best to take the advice of a doctor before using a CLA supplement.
Side Effects and Risks of CLA Supplements
Any substance should not be marketed as a good if it is considered unsafe though it has indications that are beneficial to health. Tests on animals are usually done for preclinical estimations on the safety of new dietary food components.
Safety is of utmost importance in dietary supplements. CLA safety has been assessed in toxicologic studies that were carried out efficiently following protocols. Several animal models and human trials have shown that there were no serious effects to even high dose administration of this fatty acid.
Summary: CLA is generally safe for consumption and no serious side effects have been reported by its users.
The Final Note
The research-based manuscripts on the benefits of CLA are growing steadily. The studies on animals, clinical trials have given the scientific evidence that conjugated linoleic acid can improve the health of the body in many areas. In particular in reducing body fat, immunity and improving blood lipids.
Michael W Pariza who along with his team came across this fatty acid in 1978 in grilled beef had stated that research on CLA is still in its infancy. It does affect the build-up of fat in the body however some findings on animals and humans have been better recorded than others. The effects on muscles have remained inconclusive. Some forms of cancer receded in animal trials. More and better- documented research and studies will help to take advantage of the health benefits of this conjugated linoleic acid.