CLA Supplementation for Weight Loss & Health


Conjugated Linoleic Acid for Weight Loss & Health fat loss lose weight supplements wellness exercise Over the past 10 years, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been extensively studied for its weight-loss and health-promoting properties. CLA is a form of linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid that is very important to human health. CLA cannot be made by the body, but can be found in foods such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and dairy products. Although CLA can be obtained from food, in order to produce noticeable weight-loss and health benefits, you must use a CLA supplement.

CLA & Weight Loss

CLA can support weight loss through various mechanisms. To begin with, it can help prevent fat storage in the body by decreasing the activity of fat-storing enzymes. Essentially, CLA helps inhibit fat from entering fat cells, which prevents them from maturing and increasing in size and density. Secondly, CLA can increase caloric expenditure when used chronically. Research shows that it has the ability to increase levels of norepinephrine, which is one of the body’s most powerful fat-burning hormones. Finally, CLA has been shown to reduce hunger cravings and improve satiety and feelings of fullness. This can help you stay on track with your diet, and in the end, enhance your weight-loss results.

Health Benefits of CLA

In addition to CLA’s incredible weight-loss properties it can also provide additional health benefits. There is some evidence to suggest that CLA may be able to kill off breast cancer cells and may also inhibit the growth of malignant melanoma and colorectal cancer cells. In addition to its cancer-fighting properties, CLA also appears to have positive effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems. Research shows that it can reduce hypertension (high blood pressure), atherosclerosis (clogging of arteries) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and enhance immune function.

How to Supplement with CLA

Since CLA cannot be made by the body it must be obtained from food or supplements. That being said, a typical North American diet contains far less CLA than what is needed to enhance weight loss and improve health. As a matter of fact, to obtain an effective quantity of CLA from food alone you would have to eat an excessive amount of calories from high-fat foods, thus cancelling out the desired benefits you would want to gain from CLA. Supplementation is the only way to get an effective dose of CLA to enhance weight loss and improve health. Based on the body of research conducted on CLA, you’ll want to supplement with at least three grams daily, divided into three doses. Although three grams daily is the minimum dosage, many studies have shown even greater results by using six to nine grams daily. Talk to a qualified healthcare professional for more information on a dosage that is right for you.

Not All CLA Supplements are Equal

Be aware that not all CLA products are the same. The most effective CLA isomers are cis-9, trans-11 (abbreviated c-9, t-11) and trans-10, cis-12 (abbreviated t-10, c-12). If you want to truly enhance weight loss and improve health then you need to use a CLA supplement that contains high levels of the aforementioned metabolically active isomers. Before you buy a CLA product, read the label and make sure that it contains at least 80 percent of the fully active CLA isomers mentioned above.

References

Banni, S. (2002). Curr Opin Lipidol, 13, 261-266.

Belury, M.A. (2002). Annu Rev Nutr., 22, 505-531.

José, A.A., et al. (2008). Genet Mol Res., 7, 284-294.

Kamphuis, M.M., et al. (2003). Eur J Clin Nutr, 57, 1268-1274.

Larsen, T.M., et al. (2003). J Lipid Res., 44, 2234-2241.

MacDonald, H.B. (2000). J Am Coll Nutr, 19, 111S-8S.

Nagao, K., et al. (2003). Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 306, 134-138.

O'Shea, M., et al. (1999). Anticancer Res, 9, 1953-1960.


By Don Gauvreau| November 06, 2009
Categories:  Eat

About the Author

Don Gauvreau

Don Gauvreau

Don Gauvreau, MSc., CSCS, has well over 10 years of experience in the sports nutrition, dietary supplement, and natural health products business. In the sports supplement industry, he is widely recognized as one of the leading researchers and product formulators. Since 2005, he has operated a successful consulting business, working with some of the largest dietary supplement companies in the world and formulating some of the best-selling products in the sports nutrition category.

Currently, Don is the CEO of Neogea Health Inc., a company dedicated to creating safe and effective all-natural health supplements. He also is a featured writer for various health and fitness publications, including Vista, the Sports Nutrition Insider and Inside Fitness magazines. In addition to his industry experience, Don’s strong academic background includes a Master’s of Science degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. He also holds the designation of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

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