CLA Fat Loss: A Little Known but Effective Weapon Against Fat

Not until a few months ago I,myself, was introduced to CLA fat loss too.

As I hardly new anything about it, I did a little research and I came to realize that it has been around for a long time as an approach to fat loss.

So...What is CLA?

It stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid and it is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid.

It is used mainly in the form of dietary supplement because the main sources of this substance, which are red meat and dairy products, are quite rich in saturated fat and they are high in calories.

Many have researched its effectiveness and it is generally reported to promote fat loss and help in maintaining lean body mass.

Does science backs up the claims of fat loss success?

Numerous scientists, around the globe, have researched the effectiveness of CLA for fat loss through the years. All studies aimed at understanding the mechanisms of how exactly CLA works for decreasing body fat and increasing lean body mass.

Dr. Mark Stengler, one of the leading natural physicians in the US, explained in his review, published in Natural Physician's Healing Therapies, that "It (CLA) helps glucose get into muscle cells more effectively, thus preventing glucose from being converted into fat. It also helps fats enter the cell membranes of muscle and connective tissue, where the fat is burned for fuel."

According to the findings of an expert group by Dr. James P. DeLany from the Department of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh, it is possible to achieve 10% body fat reduction just in 12 weeks.

It seems CLA fat loss is an exceptionally effective method towards our fat loss goals.

Although there are several experts who point to the fact that the most research on CLA effects were studied on mice, one of the first studies on humans was carried out in 2004 and its findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

It involved testing CLA in triglyceride form (as Tonalin) and showed the CLA fat loss in humans can give long-term and stable results.

A series of studies on CLA was carried out by a group of scientists at Scandinavian Clinical Research in Norway led by Jean-Michel Gaulier, Ph.D., and the main findings were published in Lipis in 2002 and in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004.

Gaulier’s team managed to find out that using CLA is linked not only to stable fat loss and improved BMI, but also assists in lowering LDL cholesterol levels in blood, as well as promoting hormonal sensitivity and assisting satiety by lowering the levels of certain lipids.

Benefits of CLA for our overall health.

The benefits of using CLA for reducing body fat and improving our overall health include the following:

Promoting fat loss. It is possible to achieve up to 9% decrease in body fat (according to the findings of Gaullier, published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 79(6):1118–1125, 2004).

Assisting in muscle growth and muscle mass gaining. Using CLA can help achieve 2% increase in muscle mass (Gaullier, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 79(6):1118–1125, 2004).

Increasing metabolic rate. A number of studies have proven excellent properties of CLA to speed up metabolism and this way boost the effectiveness of CLA fat loss. In particular, it is possible to read an interesting review by the experts from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, in Journal of Nutrition (131:2067–2068, 2001)

Lowering insulin resistance and preventing diabetes. The findings of two independent expert groups, the one of Dr. John Vandel Heuvel at Penn State University (published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 14(10):554–567, 2003), and the one of Dr. Martha Belury at Purdue University (published in Journal of Nutrition 133(1):257S–260S, 2003) showed that CLA can normalize impaired glucose tolerance and improve glucose utilization.

Reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol in blood. Tests on animals have proven the effectiveness of CLA fat loss supplements for lowering bad cholesterol levels and preventing atherosclerosis (Nutritional Research, 22(11):1275 –1279, 2002).

Enhancing the function of the immune system. These properties of CLA were discovered by a group of Dr. Mark Cook at the University of Wisconsin in 2000.

Lowering breast cancer risks. The report by French scientists about this property of CLA was published in 2003 in an international journal Nutrition and Cancer (45(1):17–23, 2003).

Are there any risks?

As scientific studies show, CLA is a fat loss approach which seems to be proven by The above numerous advantages of CLA fat loss method make it one of the best and the healthiest ways to achieve stable and rapid fat loss. That is why this approach is recommended by many fitness and health care specialists of modern times.

However, certain risks have been identified by using this strategy, which are defined by Dr. Gaullier as the following:

• Slightly elevated levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, in some occasions.

• Slightly lowered levels of HDL ‘good’ cholesterol

• Slightly higher risks of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems

• Slightly higher risks of artery inflammation and related health conditions

On the other hand, the same doctor, Gaullier, underlines that the mentioned risk factors are minor and caused by natural process of eliminating fat. If you are thinking about using the CLA fat loss approach, check with your doctor or a health care specialist to evaluate the effectiveness of this method for your particular health condition.

In any case, no one should consume supplements unless it has been authorized by his/her doctor.


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