CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid has been a topic of debate for some time now. Researchers have continually been debating about its various health benefits. Even though the inquisitions are still in their infancy, scientists are hopeful that CLA will help benefit a wide range of health problems, including cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and weight loss.
How Does CLA Work?
CLA is a dynamic antioxidant that belongs to the family of linoleic acid. It is a group of 28 naturally occurring isomers. CLA normally occurs in the fats and dairy products of animals that chew cud. Dairy products replenish the highest amount of CLA i.e 70% of the total dietary requirement. On the other hand, beef provides 25% and other ruminants replenish even smaller amounts as compared to beef.
Scientists have found that the beneficial effect of CLA on human health arises when two isomers of linoleic acid i.e t-10, c-12 CLA and c-9, t-11 CLA interact with each other.
CLA and Obesity
Studies have found that people who suffer from obesity have good chances to benefit from CLA. It reduces the body fat and at the same time it maintains body weight. CLA inhibits the deposition of adipose and administers lipogenesis. It works by quenching appetite and increasing basal metabolic rate due to which more energy is consumed.
Another way that CLA combats obesity is by producing pro-inflammatory cytokines known as adipokines. This in turn, favors the breakdown of lipids and stifles the process of lipid synthesis in fatty tissues. Nutritionists recommend that at least 1.4 to 3.0 grams of CLA should be consumed daily in order to achieve the desired body fat loss.
CLA and Heart Diseases
CLA reduces the levels of lipids, mainly triglycerides and cholesterol, thus preventing atherosclerosis. Fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides circulate in the blood and are highly susceptible in damaging oxidation by free radical. CLA improves levels of HDL cholesterol in blood. However, the research done on humans has revealed inconsistent findings.
CLA and immune System
CLA has shown a consistent ability to strengthen immune system response in animal studies. It has shown to reduce immune challenges and allergic reactions. It has shown many beneficial effects in decreasing antigen-induced cytokine production. CLA has shown positive response in the intonation of production of leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Nonetheless, studies done in human subjects are inconclusive.
CLA and Cancer
It has been found that CLA is helpful for people suffering from cancer. Clinical studies revealed that patients who ate a diet rich in CLA such as milk, cheese etc had increased immunity against breast cancer. Studies have found a strong connection between consumption of CLA and its inverse association with colorectal cancer in women. CLA works by inhibiting DNA synthesis and interfering with the cellular pathway. It promotes apoptosis of cancerous cells by modulation of eicosanoid production and angiogenesis.
CLA and Bone Health
Clinical trials on CLA are still in its infancy, yet the results are positive. Scientists are confident about the beneficial effects of CLA on bone health. CLA regulates the specific nuclear receptors while simultaneously inducing weight loss that is helpful in maintaining bone mass.
It is not going to be long that the research is going to show what is already very obvious, CLA is a very beneficial dietary supplement with a whole host of health benefits. Be patient and watch this space.