Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a chemical that is categorized as a polyunsaturated, conjugated fatty acid. CLA is a part of a healthy human diet that generally exists in dairy products and meat. Even though CLA comes under the category of trans-fat which is linked to a higher rate of heart disease, CLA is considered to have a positive effect on human health and is great for boosting weight loss.
CLA is considered to be a beneficial nutrient that is supposed to be a part of a low fat and high muscle mass dietary regime. CLA is linked to many health related benefits such as:
- Reduction in body fat
- Gain in muscle mass
- Positive growth in the body’s metabolic rate
- Reduction in the body’s cholesterol levels and triglycerides
- After weight loss, CLA helps in maintaining weight at constant levels
How Does CLA Work?
The principal way CLA works is not actually by helping to reduce fats from the body but by helping to maintain current weight and avoiding future weight gain. Given the results of various research, CLA is a significantly powerful tool. According to some research Dr. Michael Pariza, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison:
“CLA doesn’t make a big fat cell get little. What it rather does is keep a little fat cell from getting big.”
It is theorized that conjugated linoleic acid enables glucose to be absorbed into muscle cells more efficiently, which in turn stops glucose from transforming into fat. Furthermore, this helps fat easily enter the cells of muscular and connective tissues, where it can be oxidized for energy.
Any Scientific Evidence For CLA?
Even after being promoted as a savior in the fight against obesity, conjugated linoleic acid, CLA is still under the microscope about whether it is a useful weight loss nutrient or not. Research about the effects of CLA on humans is still uncertain. No study has so far conclusively proven the link between CLA and weight loss in humans as definitively as in animals. Although this may explain why some other latent benefits of CLA like its anti-oxidant properties, anti cancer properties, cardiovascular aids. The major reason for its lack of evidence about positive benefits may be attributed to the fact that many studies were undertaken for 12 weeks or less and thus can be classified as insufficient duration. There have also been issues about the usage of correct potency. All in all, the general consensus is steered towards the many positive benefits.
Our health is the most important factor when thinking about the consumption of dietary supplements. There are currently a lot of unanswered questions regarding the long-term effects of CLA supplements on humans. The side effects of the use of such dietary supplements are inadequately reported and documented.
All the negative cases that have been found using CLA Supplements are about the trial on animals. Toxicity and safety levels have not yet been documented so a before and after comparison is not possible.