What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)?
Through my own weight loss and management travels over the last 17 years, I feel like I’ve tried every supplement out there. Some have worked, some not so much.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid didn’t work when I didn’t take enough of it. Plus, I experience greater results with CLA when I exercise regularly.
It’s no magic supplement – I find (as does research) that when you take the right amount, eat right, and exercise, Conjugated Linoleic Acid can propel your weight loss and management efforts. But it won’t do all the work for you. Nothing does.
If you don’t take a Conjugated Linoleic Acid supplement, you’ll find it mostly in meat and dairy products. CLA is a fatty acid with numerous health benefits. We’re talking an anticancer, insulin resistance, and heart health supplement.
You can check out the scientific explanation if you like. For those who want to keep it simple, CLA is an easy strategy you can try and see if it works for you.
What does CLA do?
1. Weight Loss vs. Healthy Body Composition
Over 35 studies have linked CLA to increased lean mass, belly firmness, and reduced body fat. We’re talking about increased healthy body composition.
Because you may trade fat reduction for increased muscle mass, your weight may only change slightly. But, with more muscle mass than fat, you should see a reduction in overall body size. And since muscle burns fat, you should see an increased metabolism.
This is why many fitness gurus swear by Conjugated Linoleic Acid. It can greatly support physical fitness, muscle development and definition, and maintaining a healthy weight and size.
2. Lowers Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and Insulin Resistance
The lowered cholesterol effects support cardiovascular health – another huge health benefit.
Lowered insulin resistance helps prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes, our latest health epidemic, which helps support weight management.
3. Cancer Fighter
Studies have begun to show significant reductions in cancer risk with the use of CLA, especially:
It’s been reported that Conjugated Linoleic Acid can up-regulate the tumor prevention gene.
How Much CLA Should You Take?
CLA has been reported to have significant effects in doses up to 3.2 – 3.4 g (3200 – 3400 mg). Taking more than that hasn’t seemed to provide any extra benefit.
I take four 1,000 mg capsules because many 1,000 mg CLA supplements will have about 750 mg that are actually active. Read the labels so you know how much to take.
It can take a few weeks to see measurable results – as long as you eat a healthy diet and exercise. No supplement replaces those two pillars of weight and health management.
MRM and Solgar are well rated brands of CLA. Look for supplements like this. As with any supplement, see what works for your body.
Possible Side Effects?
A couple have been noted, but no consistent findings have been made.
- The most notable one, possible increased insulin resistance, seems to occur in excessively overweight people.
- Take CLA with protein, just before or with a meal to avoid possible nausea, stomach or digestion upset.
Questions about Conjugated Linoleic Acid?
Leave them in the Comments Section! Here’s a great Q&A list about Conjugated Linoleic Acid.
Sarah Jennings saysAugust 6, 2012 at 4:21 am
If you decide to boost your CLA levels with supplementation, this should be viewed as a long term supplement. Similar to vitamins or minerals, CLA is something you take everyday and, over the course of a few months, you could well start to notice health improvements.
Angela saysAugust 6, 2012 at 11:08 am
Absolutely! As with most supplements, results will take time to see, usually 2-3 months, but sometimes longer. And yes, supplements need to be taken daily as recommended if you want to get the most out of them.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Charlotte saysSeptember 10, 2012 at 5:26 am
Is CLA safe to take while trying to get pregnant/ in pregnancy?
Angela saysSeptember 10, 2012 at 10:11 am
Great question. As of now, we don’t have research on the effects of CLA and pregnancy, so it’s recommended that expecting moms don’t take a CLA supplement while pregnant. You can get CLA naturally in some meat and dairy foods, which should be a safe route to consume it. As always, if considering taking a supplement, especially while pregnant, I recommend talking with your physician. Priority one is to keep the little one and mom healthy and safe!
zara saysFebruary 27, 2017 at 5:18 am
Hi, i know this article is years ago, but hopefully you’ll reply 🙂
Do you take the CLA 4 capsules at one times or can you divide 2 in the mornings 2 at night? Thank u!
Angela saysMay 29, 2017 at 8:33 pm
Sorry for the delayed response. This comment got lost in the technical stratosphere and just showed up! 🙁
I would divide these up into 2 and 2 ideally and take either just before your meal or with it. I hope that helps. Again, sorry for the delay!