CLA 101 - What Are The Benefits?

CLAs are a supplement that have garnered a tremendous amount popularity with the diet crowd in the last twenty years or so. But how is it that they work and are they really as beneficial as they are made out to be? Let’s have a look. 

What are CLAs:

Linoleic acid is one of the most common omega-6 fatty acids and it is usually found in sources like vegetable oils and in various other healthy foods as well. Conjugated means that the arrangement of the fatty acids in this case has been double-bonded. 

CLAs also fall into the trans-fat category, however, the source of this fat is quite natural being that it comes directly from organic food sources. This makes it different from industrial trans-fats which are known to be quite harmful. 

Health Benefits of CLAs:

There have been a very large number of studies conducted on CLAs and their benefits in helping improve the health of others as well as their usefulness in mitigating diseases. Notably, the risks in diseases such as cancer and diabetes were reduced quite significantly. It is often found that people who have diabetic issues are recommended by health practitioners to take a decent dietary amount of CLAs to help with their condition. This benefit was additionally supported by an observational study conducted where it was found that people who predominantly eat meat from cows and other animals who are grass fed, had lower risk of heart disease in their bodies. 

Weight Loss: 

The first interest signs of using CLA as a weight loss aid happened when peer review studies noted a sharp incline in the obesity levels of the general public. How it worked was that these studies performed on CLAs and people resulted in a healthy reduction of food intake, increases in internal fat usage, and a stimulus of bodyfat breakdown as well as an inhibition of fat production.

Additionally, some studies even noted changes in body recomposition. This means that body fat was lost while simultaneously showing increases in muscle mass being out on. 

It is also worth noting that several studies have shown that the fat loss effects of CLAs tend to stall after a period of 5 or 6 months. Therefore, taking it in cycles might be a viable route to go. 


CLAs definitely do come with their own level of risk. Too much of anything is not a good thing and CLAs are no exception to that rule. CLAs provided in supplemental form are concentrated and have a much higher dose in them than one would typically get from organic or grass fed foods. As a result, too much consumption of CLAs can be a bad thing. Several studies have shown that large doses of supplemental CLA can cause increased accumulation of fat in your liver, which is a stepping stone towards metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Therefore, it is recommended that one take CLAs in doses of 3-6g daily to stay within the healthy bracket of consumption. Considering that most CLA products come in bottles of 90 caps, 3 caps a day is enough to last you a month and give you the benefits you are looking for a in a CLA. 

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