Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a type of fatty acid which is essential for several biochemical and chemical reactions in the body. This fatty acid is commonly found in beef and certain dairy products.
Over the years, CLA has been extensively studied and is currently used for prevention of several medical disorders including hardening of blood vessels, obesity, body building and preventing allergic reactions to food.
By consuming beef or dairy products one can obtain anywhere from 10-170 mg of CLA daily. This amount is more than adequate to prevent deficiency of CLA.
How does it work?
CLA has been shown to lower the levels of body fat deposits and enhance immune function. The fatty acid has also been shown to boost muscle development and increase exercise endurance. However, CLA is not a one shot deal and must be taken regularly to obtain its health benefits.
Experts recommend that CLA can be used for prevention and treatment of the following disorders:
- Lowering of blood pressure. CLA can be taken with pharmaceutical medications used to lower blood pressure. However, it is not a substitute treatment for blood pressure.
- Weight loss. To reduce body weight CLA can be consumed. However, one must incorporate some form of exercise and also reduce intake of calories for the maximum benefit. It is believed that CLA can decrease the hunger pangs. Doses of 3 gr of CLA/day have been shown to lower body fat. The benefits of CLA on weight loss last as long as it is taken regularly. It is important to read the labels when buying CLA. Research shows that the conjugate variety of CLA (trans-10 or cis -12 isomer) may in fact increase the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Bodybuilding: many athletes regularly take CLA to build body mass. However, CLA only works if it is combined with aerobic exercise and some type of muscle building activity. The results on muscle mass usually take 6-12 weeks.
CLA is relatively safe when consumed by mouth. A few people may develop adverse effects like nausea, stomach upset and diarrhea. These side effects are temporary and spontaneously resolve. The nausea and stomach upset can be prevented by taking the CLA with a small amount of food. When taking high doses of CLA, some people do complain of fatigue.
Even though CLA is safe to use in children, there is not enough evidence to recommend long term use. Always speak to your healthcare provider first before giving CLA to your infant or child.
CLA Is believed to be safe during pregnancy and in breast feeding women. However the long-term effects of CLA on the infant are not known. Thus, to be safe, experts do not recommend CLA use during pregnancy or when breast feeding.
CLA should be avoided in people who have bleeding disorders, diabetes and liver disease.
When undergoing surgery, CLA should be discontinued for at least 2 weeks prior to the procedure.
The dose of CLA for healthy adults is anywhere from 2-7 grams per day. For most adults, a dose of 3 grams per day will suffice. Taking higher doses does not add any extra health benefit. Click here to buy best CLA Supplement.