Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a type of fatty acid found naturally in certain animal products, including beef, lamb, and dairy products. CLA has been studied for its potential health benefits, particularly regarding weight loss and improving body composition.
What is Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)?
CLA is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found in small amounts in animal products. It is an isomer of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through the diet. CLA is formed when linoleic acid is converted by bacteria in the gut of ruminant animals, such as cows and sheep.
CLA is found in high amounts in beef and dairy products from grass-fed animals, as well as in smaller amounts in other animal products such as chicken, turkey, and eggs. CLA supplements are also available and are typically made from safflower oil.
Benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
There is a significant body of research that suggests that CLA may have several potential health benefits. Some of the most promising benefits of CLA include:
- Weight Loss: Several studies have shown that CLA can help to promote weight loss and improve body composition by reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass. CLA may also help reduce appetite and increase metabolism, further supporting weight loss efforts.
- Improved Heart Health: CLA has been shown to have a beneficial effect on several markers of heart health, including reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol levels, and decreasing blood pressure.
- Reduced Risk of Cancer: Some studies have suggested that CLA may have anticancer properties, particularly regarding breast cancer. CLA has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tubes and animal studies, though more research is needed to determine its potential as a cancer treatment.
- Improved Immune Function: CLA has been shown to have a positive effect on immune function, including reducing inflammation and supporting the production of white blood cells.
- Improved Bone Health: Some studies have suggested that CLA may benefit bone health, including increasing bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Risks and Side Effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
While CLA is generally considered safe, some potential risks and side effects are associated with its use. Some of the most common side effects of CLA include gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, stomach upset, headache, and fatigue. Some studies have also suggested that CLA may have a negative effect on insulin sensitivity, which could potentially increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
It is important to note that CLA supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so the quality and safety of these products can vary. It is essential to purchase CLA supplements from a reputable source and to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
CLA is a type of fatty acid that has been studied for its potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved heart health, reduced risk of cancer, improved immune function, and improved bone health. While more research is needed to understand the potential benefits and risks of CLA fully, it is a promising supplement for those looking to improve their overall health and well-being. As with any supplement, it is essential to talk to a healthcare provider before taking CLA to determine if it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.
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Strictly opinion and not medical advice. Consult your doctor, pharmacist and/or nutritionist before starting/stopping any supplement or exercise program