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Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a type of natural fatty acid mostly found in dairy and meat. CLA is a unique dietary supplement used as an aid in achieving health and fitness goals. The most popular use for this fatty acid is to induce fat loss and increase metabolism. Research suggests that taking CLA supplements positively affects many other areas of health as well.
What are the benefits of Conjugated Linoleic Acid?
CLA is simply a fatty acid that provides support and improvement to many basis bodily functions. It is proven to be a healthy and effective supplement, and has received a lot of attention for it’s’ usefulness for weight loss.
- CLA is a fat burner as it triggers the necessary chemical signaling to lower the amount of triglyceride uptake within the fat cells.
- CLA (specifically cis-9,trans-11) is a proven anti-diabetic isomer.
Even though there have been numerous studies completed on the key benefits of CLA in regards to fat loss, bodybuilding, blood pressure reduction, etc., it is important for more studies to be done to obtain conclusive findings for each of these claimed benefits.
- Helps with body fat reduction and losing weight
- Boosts metabolism, also helping with weight loss
- Helps to keep the immune system strong
- Aids in maintaining lean body mass
- It can help to enhance total muscle volume
- May help with controlling appetite
- It is a naturally occurring fat-burner
What is CLA?
Conjugated linoleic acids are comprised of different isomers of linoleic acid that is mainly found in meat and dairy products. Largest amounts of CLA are derived from grass-fed ruminants. Grain-fed ruminants have a significantly lower level of this natural acid component. CLA can be both trans fatty and cis fatty acid.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is made up of multiple chemicals used to compose fatty acids. Derived from linoleic acid, CLA maintains similar structure and features 18-carbon, 2-double bond composition, making it a polyunsaturated fatty acid.
CLA is one of the body’s essential fatty acids, meaning that it is not supplied by converting linoleic acid to meet the body’s daily needs. Thus, CLA comes out of the foods we eat and the supplements we take. CLA is found in various foods, especially those supplied from plant-eating mammals, such as:
- Meat (ex. Beef)
- Cheese (ex. Pecorino cheese)
CLA is naturally produced through special processes within the rumen. This makes it common in food products from ruminant mammals – examples: dairy and meat from cattle, goats, sheep, and deer. CLA is available in various forms and from many sources, but only two fatty acids qualify as effective and powerful fat burners on a biological level. This includes both t110c2 (trans-10, cis-12) and c9t11 (cis-9,trans-11).
Additionally, there are ongoing studies covering CLA’s other health benefits aside from serving as a fat burning supplement. This is due to the fact that CLA works with molecular signaling, utilizing peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR), and may improve one’s health in the process of metabolising fats, carbs, and proteins.
What is CLA used for?
The range of health benefits that CLA can provide is very wide. CLA supplements are most commonly used to help losing weight and increase metabolic rate. Due to its helpful properties, CLA can also be taken when trying to maintain or enhance muscle mass. Some research suggests immune system improvement and improve insulin sensitivity.
CLA may also provide a strong promotion of body fat loss.
Numerous tests have also found that CLA can functionally lower production of lipid and its’ uptake within the fat cells. CLA has shown itself as capable of slowing down or stopping PPAR. CLA has also been shown to lower body fat as it reduces or stops the functioning of specific enzymes that are responsible for fat synthesis. Based on many different study findings, CLA may serve as a fat burner while the person is sleeping as energy source turns from carbs to fats once an individual goes to sleep – in return, this leads to a greater amount of fat loss.
New studies, still in the early stages, are being conducted to determine the extent of benefits in using CLA to lower the chances of developing breast cancer. Post-menopausal women with higher amounts of CLA in their diet have shown to be, on average, at lower risk of breast cancer development. Additionally, there is a belief that CLA also helps with both bodybuilding performance and the lowering of cholesterol levels – more conclusive studies must be conducted before understanding the extent of its’ benefits in these fields.
How does Conjugated Linoleic Acid work?
CLA works by increasing the metabolism, and promoting the reduction of the fat storage in the body. At the same time, it supports the muscle mass, which can result in an improved overall body shape. This is achieved as a result of conjugated linoeic impacting PPAR, which has influence on losing fat, metabolism, steroid signalling, and other important weight loss related processes in the body. It is suggested that CLA’s beneficial effects may be due to its enzymes' ability to break down fat in the blood.
CLA is derived from linoleic acid and contains two fatty acids that are known for their ability to burn fat. The c9t11 fatty acid makes up the majority of CLA composition and is comparable to the fatty acid supplied through many common foods. The t110c2 fatty acid comes from dairy products and meat. The amount of each of these fatty acids will be dependent on the particular intake of the ruminant animal.
CLA & Lipid Metabolism
The c9t11 fatty acid provides specific functioning for fat cells, which causes a decrease in lipid uptake as it supports the functions of both stearoyl-CoA desaturase and lipoprotein lipases enzymes. These particular enzymes are both known to gather and store dietary fats. The latter is a protein that helps with lipid absorption. This particular fatty acid is mostly found in fat, muscle, and heart tissues.
Furthermore, CLA operates to reduce body fat through lowering biosynthesis of the human body. Studies have proven that the functions of CLA support those of enzymes that aid in the biosynthesis process for fatty acids, and have benefits with fatty acid oxidation. This is accomplished through CLA blocking fatty acid synthase, which is an enzyme that holds primary responsibility for oxidation of fatty acids. When fatty acid synthase is prevented, it will result in a slow down or stop to fatty acid production.
Innovating studies are being completed on CLA to see its’ effects on biochemical actions that contribute to the metabolizing of lipid in the human body. The available results have suggested that during lipolysis, where lipid is broken down and turned to energy, CLA plays a significant role and is said to be capable of increasing breakdown. If true, this simply means that CLA’s use in lipolysis will cause the body to lose fat. Further, CLA works to stop the body from producing fat cells at a high rate.
Trans-10, cis 12 has also been shown to lower triglyceride in fat cells through triggering specific molecule signals. The specifics of this claim are not yet determined.
CLA in the human body is known to promote PPAR, which aids in fats, carbs, and proteins being properly metabolized. A number of tests have been completed to determine CLA’s influences on PPAR. The findings from these tests strongly indicate that CLA both enhances PPAR and insulin resistance.
CLA & Glucose Metabolism
It is believed that CLA can play a role on one’s insulin sensitivity, which is the overall efficiency of insulin in lowering blood sugar levels in the human body. If an individual has high sensitivity to insulin, this means that they do not need as much insulin to complete its’ necessary functions in comparison to someone with low sensitivity to insulin.
One particular company had completed a research study, where they performed interventions on humans with varying levels of insulin sensitivity to see how they would respond to supplementing their diet with CLA. The first phase saw heterogeneous findings – the results found that after supplementing with 3.2 grams of 50:50 (trans-10,cis-12 & cis-9,trans-11) only two of the 10 test subjects noticed a heightened sensitivity to insulin. On the other hand, six test subjects experienced a drop in their sensitivity to insulin. The other two test subjects experienced no real difference. This particular test was performed with 10 test subjects, all healthy and sedentary males.
Both of the fatty acids used in the study are proven to influence one’s sensitivity to insulin, but the effects that they have on it will differ. In particular, cis-9,trans-11 possesses anti-diabetic properties and has shown to lower cases of diet-caused obesity in animal test subjects. This particular isomer is also known for its’ ability to enhance lipid biomarkers.
However, trans-10,cis-12 possesses pro-diabetic properties and works to lower glucose uptake within fat cells. It creates a constant protein kinases activation, which translates to a decrease in fatty acid uptake, but this particular activation was connected with the hyper-secretion of chemical signals for fat cells that develop into inflammation in those cells.
Who should use CLA?
CLA supplement is suitable for people who aim to improve their body composition or health in general. It suits everyone looking to improve their performance and looks, including:
- Individuals on restrictive diet plans, trying to lose weight
- People unable to use strict diet regimes
- Athletes and fitness enthusiasts interested in maintaining muscle mass
- Bodybuilders trying to grow muscles
- People trying to lose weight through healthy eating
- Individuals not currently sticking to a particular diet or fitness regime, but wanting to tone the body
- People with slow metabolism
- Individuals who want to strengthen their immune system
- Anyone trying to improve their health with natural supplements
How to take Conjugated Linoleic Acid?
It is recommended to take 2 soft gels of CLA 1000mg 1 to 3 times per day for the maximum effects to be shown. For best absorption the capsules should be taken during mealtimes.
Oral administration is used when taking CLA. Obese patients using CLA should take a dosage of between 1.8 and 7 grams each day. These dosing amounts have been scientifically proven as safe and effective. 3.2 grams of CLA, with 70% containing the two main isomers, will provide noticeable results. Increasing this dose amount by 200% to 6.4 grams of CLA is also acceptable. CLA should be taken with food. For athletes, studies have further determined that dosing of 1.8 to 7 grams per day is safe and effective.
Dosing higher than the stated amounts will not necessarily provide you with further benefits. The efficiency level is expected to be the same, regardless of the amount that is taken. Therefore, it is not necessary for you to increase the dosing amount above this range. If you want, you can begin on the lowest suggested dosage and increase it to the maximum as you notice the effects and results that it has on you
CLA is considered as safe if consumed to the same extent as it would be from food sources. There is still the potential of adverse side effects occurring, such as feeling tired, experiencing stomach pains, and diarrhea. It is also believed that very long term, un-cycled use of CLA could actually increase the chance of diabetes development in non-diabetic patients.
While CLA is shown to be beneficial to the body’s healthiness and functioning, there are still negative effects that have been reported. Some examples of this include a major increase in insulin, heightened risk of colon cancer, and fatty liver development.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid Ingredients
What studies have been conducted on CLA?
Many research studies have been conducted in order to determine the effects of CLA. Various areas were inspecting during these studies, such as effects of CLA on health, weight loss, fitness.
Body fat reduction
Enhancing muscle mass
Synergistic effect of synthetic conjugated linoleic acid & nonfat milk
on fat deposition & lipid metabolism in mice
The effect of dietary supplementation using isomeric blends of conjugated linoleic acid on lipid metabolism in healthy human subjects http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=908032
Conjugated linoleic acid isomers' roles in the regulation of PPAR-gamma and NF-kappaB DNA binding and subsequent expression of antioxidant enzymes in human umbilical vein endothelial cells
Dietary conjugated linoleic acid increases PPAR gamma gene expression in adipose tissue of obese rat, and improves insulin resistance http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18304850
Conjugated linoleic acids as functional food: an insight into their health benefits
Safety And Quality
- Manufactured to GMP protocols
- Uses pharmaceutical grade ingredients
- Manufactured in the UK
- EFSA compliance (European Food Safety Authority)
- Manufactured in an Informed Sport registered facility
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