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CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is similar to omega-6 fatty acids but has skin and weight loss benefits. It's one of the "healthy fats" found in foods like beef and dairy products, but only in small amounts. Ironically, beef and dairy products are also heavy in what we consider "bad fats," or saturated fats, making acquiring enough CLA through diet alone difficult.
Interestingly, despite the fact that CLA is fat, studies suggest that 1.4-3.0 grams of CLA per day results in overall body fat loss. To get that much CLA into your system naturally, you'd have to eat 2 pounds of beef, a pound of cheese, or 100 ounces of milk per day!
Increasing CLA consumption does not have to come from dairy or beef, as the advantages of CLA can be obtained through supplementation.
It may appear strange that a fatty acid might assist reduce body fat while improving lean muscle mass, yet it is what science suggests!
While technically a trans fat, CLA is naturally represented in our dietary sources and is distinct from industrial-produced trans fats, such as vegetable oil. CLA, like many naturally occurring substances, has a natural and important position in our diet.
Even though conjugated linoleic acid is a trans fat, there's a reason for this one! CLA, in particular, serves to lower the desire for unnecessary food intake and inhibits the synthesis of extra lipids. Fundamentally, CLA is a particular sort of lipid that takes the place of our requirement for other, bad fats.
CLA hardwired us to stay trim and clean by assisting us in burning the calories that currently exist rather than seeking extra calories that serve no function.
A recent trial using 4.2 grams of CLA per day in 53 healthy people found a substantial decrease (3.8 percent) in body fat compared to those who did not take CLA.
A further study in obese and overweight people found that taking at least 3.4 grams of CLA per day for 12 weeks was required to show a substantial reduction in body fat. 2 In other words, there was no significant fat loss without CLA!
One study that looked at the effects of CLA supplementation on muscle development found that consuming 7.2 grammes of CLA per day along with a bodybuilding regimen resulted in an increase in skin-fold corrected arm girth, leg press gains, and overall body mass when compared to a placebo group that did the same routine without CLA.
CLA has been shown in studies to have skin health advantages in addition to weight loss benefits. As a result, CLA has been included in a variety of popular skincare products.
Nevertheless, if you're already supplementing with CLA, you don't need to buy those items to reap the benefits.
Many people already consume a lot of beef and dairy products, so it seems to be the reason that the amount of CLA in their body should be sufficient.
Regrettably, meat and milk production has evolved through time. Non-grass-fed meat contains significantly less CLA than grass-fed meat, and dairy products from non-grass-fed cows contain far less CLA than dairy products from grass-fed cows.
Certain forms of CLA, like any supplement, may be difficult for the liver to digest, especially if not taken as directed. CLA may also cause an imbalance in breast milk fats, thus nursing women should avoid taking it until their infant is no longer nursing.
Other than that, taking CLA is simple: take capsules of a CLA supplement in the manufacturer's recommended amounts somewhat before or during a meal.