Have you heard of a supplement called CLA? If not, you are certainly not alone. Before we get into details, let’s use a few analogies to give this unsung hero the credit that it deserves.
Conjugated linoleic acid is like the beautiful vocalist in a band. While the singer might get the attention of most fans, the success of the band nonetheless depends upon this strong foundation.
CLA has been on the market for sometime and yet, it has not received the exposure of other supplements such as L-carnitine. Not only is this substance an active “player”, but it plays a crucial role in burning fat. Let’s now take a closer look.
What is CLA and How Does it Work?
Conjugated linoleic acid is a type of fatty acid produced by grazing animals and stored within their milk and tissues. Interestingly enough, CLA is actually a broader term for several different types of linoleic acids. This substance is not an essential fatty acid, so it is unnecessary for our survival.
CLA works by taking the place of other unhealthy fats within our bodies. It also sends signals to a portion of the brain sometimes referred to as the “appestat”. As you may have guessed, this area is responsible for making us feel full after we have eaten a meal. Not only will CLA act to inhibit cravings for additional calories, but it also helps to prevent our bodies from producing additional fats. It is now a good idea to take a look at why this fatty acid is a popular weight loss supplement.
Staying Slim and Trim
If you enter the term “fat burn” into a search engine, the chances are good that you will come across conjugated linoleic acid on the first page. This substance essentially helps us to reduce our cravings for foods and research proves an important point. Some of the clinical studies suggested a positive association of the intake of 3.4 to 6.8 g/d isomeric mixture of CLA supplementation for 12 weeks for overweight and obese volunteers (BMI, 25 to 35 kg/m2) of either sex in reducing the body fat mass (BFM) significantly.
Another highlighted that consumption of CLA at a dosage of 3.4 g/d along with green tea extract significantly reduced total body fat percentage in psychiatric patients by 5.1 to 8.1%.
CLA also seems to be able to promote the gain of lean mass while maintaining (or reducing) our BMI (body mass index). This proves that not all fat is “bad” fat. However, we are just scratching the surface in regards to some of the other benefits attributed to this weight loss supplement.
A Powerful Antioxidant
Most of us are already aware of the importance of antioxidants. These substances help to prevent the formation of free radicals within our cells. As a result, less damage is likely to occur over time. This has some important implications besides weight loss alone. CLA is classified as a strong antioxidant and it has been associated with several body-friendly functions including:
- Increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering mean blood sugar levels.
- Slowing down and even preventing the formation of cancerous cells.
- Positively impacting heart functionality.
It is now clear to see that there are many other advantages besides its popular “fat burn” label.
How to Take Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Potential Side Effects
Most sources recommend ingesting between one and two grams each day. However, the majority of studies employed at least three grams. The good news is that as this substance is natural, most individuals will not experience adverse side effects. Those who take conjugated linoleic acid in significantly high doses or who might be naturally sensitive to this fatty acid could notice symptoms such as cramping, nausea or diarrhoea. This is why a nominal dosage of two grams is recommended. Also, children and women who are pregnant or who may plan to breastfeed should avoid this supplement. While few studies have been performed involving its long-term safety, it is always wise to seek the advice of a doctor before beginning any type of supplementation.
If you have been looking to burn fat and retain lean mass, this substance could represent an ideal solution when taken as recommended.