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What CLA Is and What It's Good For

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) has many health benefits for weight loss and cholesterol. Read more to find out what it can do for you.
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Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA can help you reduce body fat and prevent you from suffering from many diseases. Are you getting enough of it in your diet?

What CLA Does In Your Body


The benefits of CLA come from having the proper balance of nutrients in your body. When you take in the required amount of CLA, your body decreases the amount of fat that enters your cells. This happens because the body increases the speed your metabolism processes food. It's also able to pull the nutrients from the food and sort them faster, essentially making your body more effecient with the food you're consuming.  With enough CLA, a fatty acid found in linoleic acid, your body takes the fat from the foods you consume and sends it through your bloodstream to your muscle cells and liver to provide energy.

When fat is sent to your muscle cells and liver, you benefit from increased energy. Otherwise, fat is stored in other cells, not producing energy and you start to see the bulge. Essentially CLA helps the body use the fat your consume more effectively instead of storing it away.

How CLA Helps

Studies have found that sufferers of thyroid disease, who are overweight, benefit from CLA. Many of these individuals find that it decreases the body fat they have even though their thyroid is working against them.
While the CLA reduces body fat, it doesn’t reduce body weight. Instead, the weight shifts to muscle mass, which is another benefit of the fatty acid.

Osteoporosis has seen a benefit of CLA. Studies have found that women of menopausal age, who have consumed large amounts of CLA through cheese, have less of a chance of breast cancer and osteoporosis.

CLA is also used to help people who are at risk for heart disease or suffer from it. It helps decrease risk of atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries. This in turn, helps prevent heart disease.

Other Benefits

How Much CLA Should You Consume?


Most people consume approximately 15-174 milligrams of CLA. To achieve maximum effectiveness of the fatty acids, individuals should have at least 3,400 milligrams a day. Grass-fed animals have three to five times more CLA than others, so buying organic meats and poultry should increase your CLA intake. High levels of CLA are also found in dairy, butter and eggs. Supplementing is another way to increase your intake of CLA. When purchasing supplements, it’s important to look for products with safflower oil. Capsules should contain 1,250 milligrams of oil, which translates to 1,000 milligrams of CLA. Those made of sunflower oil do not contain as much of the fatty acid to provide the amount needed to reach maximum effectiveness.

Side Effects


Some people report that they suffer from stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea and fatigue when taking large quantities of CLA. However, it is unknown how much they are consuming.People with metabolic syndrome should avoid CLA supplements as they can increase the risk of suffering from diabetes and worsen diabetes symptoms.

Contact Your Doctor


Whenever taking any new supplements contact your doctor. It’s important to know how CLA will respond to your body, drug interactions and side effects you may experience due to health problems.

Sources: X, X,  X

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