Conjugated Linoleic Acid for Weight Control
Why Do Dieters Use It?*
Some dieters say that CLA helps decrease appetite.
What Do the Advocates Say?*
Research suggests that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) may help to reduce body fat and increase muscle. The research supporting CLA's ability to help reduce body fat is good, but more is needed. There are at least seven human studies (two are double-blind and the others are controlled) showing significant reduction of abdominal obesity and body fat mass in overweight and moderately obese people. However, since most of the studies involved a small number of participants and were short in duration, larger double-blind studies are needed to further document the benefits and mechanisms of action.
Although CLA promotes weight loss, which is good for heart health, it is important to moniter cholesterol levels as it may reduce HDL ("good") cholesterol.
How Much Is Usually Taken by Dieters?
A double-blind trial found that exercising individuals taking 1,800 mg per day of CLA lost more body fat after 12 weeks than a similar group taking a placebo.1 However, two other studies found that amounts of CLA from 0.7 to 3.0 grams per day did not affect body composition.2, 3 Most double-blind trials have found that larger amounts of CLA, 3.4 to 4.2 grams per day, does reduce body fat;4, 5, 6 however, one double-blind study of experienced strength-training athletes reported no effect of 6 grams per day of CLA on body fat, muscle mass, or strength improvement.7
*Dieters and weight-management advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2017.