What Is A CLA Supplement?
Conjugated linoleic acid, also known as CLA, is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that has hit the supplement market as a weight loss supplement. Weight loss supplements, in general, are often highly debated throughout the health and wellness community. As is the case with CLA, many of these weight loss supplements are backed by inconclusive research. Many believe that this fatty acid works by suppressing the appetite; however, studies have shown that this supplement does not actually cause sufficient weight loss to be deemed effective.
However, CLA may have other health benefits, including enhanced athletic abilities, boosted immune function, and the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, many of these benefits have not been sufficiently researched. CLA is often found in meat and dairy products, but in supplement form it is taken on its own or mixed in with caffeine or other weight loss products.
There are many weight loss products out there, such as Ketoxol, so is finding a product that includes CLA important? Can you take a CLA supplement instead of a weight loss product? We’ll take a closer look at CLA, the different types, its benefits, and more in this review.
Different Types Of CLA Supplements
CLA is either sold on its own as a supplement or in combination with caffeine or another weight loss supplement. On its own, CLA comes in either pill form, powder form, or syrup form. These supplement forms of CLA are made by chemically modifying plant forms of linoleic acid (usually as safflower seed oil), resulting in the creation of this healthier form of trans fat.
Many people prefer CLA in syrup and powder form as it tastes better and is easier to implement into food and beverage sources like yogurt, milk, and coffee (as seen with the popular weight loss product known as Bulletproof Coffee).
CLA Supplement Benefits
Although research is at times inconclusive when it comes to CLA and it is highly debated as a weight-loss supplement, the following are some researched benefits of taking CLA:
- Overall weight loss
- Reduction of body fat
- Helps retain lean muscle
- Helps control type 2 diabetes
- Supports immune function
- May prevent heart disease
- May reduce the risk of cancer
- May enhance athletic performance
- May support bodybuilding
Although there are different benefits of CLA, most of the research is done to determine its efficacy in weight loss. This is a highly debated topic as much of the research leans towards it not making too big of a difference on weight.
Should I Take CLA Supplements?
Although CLA supplements are supposedly good for weight loss, so much of the research is inconclusive. This means that you really should not be running out to the store to buy anything with CLA in it. If you are looking to lose weight, especially if you have a health condition like obesity, you should consult with your doctor before taking any sort of weight loss supplement, including CLA supplements.
Dietary and lifestyle changes may prove more beneficial in terms of weight loss and weight loss maintenance. There is no miracle product when it comes to weight loss, and especially maintaining that weight loss. So even if CLA supplements prove effective in your specific weight loss journey, it most likely is not sustainable long-term, and the continued use of CLA products may prove harmful down the road.
Do CLA Supplements Work?
Some studies show that CLA helped reduce body fat by 9%. In contrast, other studies show that there was no difference in weight loss between individuals receiving CLA and individuals receiving a placebo. As a result, it would probably be more beneficial to lose weight through lifestyle and diet changes.
It’s also important to note that CLA supplements have been associated with different adverse side effects when taken in large doses. These side effects may include:
- Accumulation of fat in the liver (may cause metabolic issues or diabetes)
- Insulin resistance
- Oxidative stress
Best CLA Supplements
Bulk Supplements CLA Powder
This product contains 2000 mg of CLA in powder form. It is highly rated and easy to use as you just add it to your beverage of choice. It is made out of starch and CLA oil derived from safflower. It contains no added sugar or other additives, and this company also offers its CLA in capsule form.
NatureWise CLA 1250
This product comes very highly rated in terms of CLA products and is a #1 best seller on Amazon. It contains 1250 mg of safflower seed oil and 80% CLA. This product claims to be non-jittery, non-addictive, and sustainable/ safe for long-term use.
Sports Research CLA 1250
This product offers a vegan source of CLA in capsule form. It contains 1250 mg of safflower seed oil, 80% of which is CLA. It contains no soy, no gluten, and no additives. It also claims to have no jittery side effects and comes highly rated.
CLA Supplement Alternatives
CLA is naturally found in certain food products, and getting CLA in this form may be more beneficial and less risky as compared to supplemental CLA, which usually comes in higher doses. CLA can be found in dairy and meat products, whereas supplemental CLA comes from chemically modifying the linoleic acid in vegetable oils. It’s important to also note that many of these dietary sources of CLA usually come from grass-fed beef and animal products. This means the animals are fed sources of linoleic acid like sunflower, safflower, or soybean oils.
CLA: Is It Worth It?
CLA is a hotly debated supplement as its efficacy, especially in terms of weight loss, is largely unproven. However, it has been proven that long-term use in high doses may cause health implications, and getting CLA from food sources like grass-fed meat and dairy products is a better option. Although CLA may provide other health benefits pertaining to muscle mass and immune function, these benefits are not backed by sufficient research.
In terms of weight loss, it may be better to find more sustainable options through diet and lifestyle changes. Always consult a doctor before using any weight loss supplement as many of them are not effective and may even cause health implications as a result of continued use, as is the case with CLA.