CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): Benefits, Side Effects & Top Picks
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid): Benefits, Side Effects & Top Picks
by Ultimate Sup Staff on November 08, 2023
In the realm of health and wellness, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has emerged as a compelling nutritional supplement, attracting attention for its potential benefits in weight management, body composition, and overall health. This naturally occurring fatty acid, found in various animal and plant sources, has captivated the interest of researchers and individuals seeking to enhance their well-being. Embark on a journey as we delve into the world of CLA, exploring its potential benefits, safety considerations, and recommended dosages.
CLA is a natural fatty acid that can help you lose fat and gain muscle by increasing your metabolism and preventing fat storage.
CLA may also have other benefits for your heart, blood sugar, and immune system.
CLA is generally safe, but some people may experience digestive issues, fatigue, and increased cholesterol levels.
The recommended dosage of CLA is 3-6 grams per day, preferably taken with meals.
What is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)?
CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is found in the meat and dairy products of ruminant animals, such as cows, goats, and sheep. CLA is produced by the bacteria in the animals’ digestive system, which convert the omega-6 fatty acids in the plants they eat into CLA. There are 28 different forms of CLA, but the two most important ones for health and weight loss are called c9, t11 and t10, c12. These two forms have different effects on the body and are often found in different proportions in natural and synthetic sources of CLA.
The natural sources of CLA, such as grass-fed beef and dairy, have more c9, t11 than t10, c12. This form of CLA has been linked to anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic properties, as well as improved immune function and bone health. However, the natural sources of CLA are also high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which may have negative effects on heart health and weight management.
The synthetic sources of CLA, such as supplements, have more t10, c12 than c9, t11. This form of CLA has been shown to have a stronger effect on fat metabolism and body composition, as it inhibits the enzyme that stores fat in the body and stimulates the enzyme that breaks down fat. However, the synthetic sources of CLA may also have some adverse effects on insulin sensitivity, blood lipids, and liver function, especially at high doses.
Potential benefits of CLA
One of the main reasons why people take CLA supplements is to enhance their weight loss and body composition. Several studies have shown that CLA can help to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and improve the ratio of fat to muscle in the body. Here are some of the potential benefits of CLA for weight loss and body composition:
Weight loss: CLA may help to promote weight loss by increasing fat burning and reducing fat storage. CLA can increase the activity of the enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT), which transports fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are burned for energy. CLA can also decrease the activity of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which picks up fat from the blood and stores it in the fat cells. By doing so, CLA can help to prevent excess fat accumulation and enhance fat oxidation.
Body composition: CLA may help to improve body composition by increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat. CLA can stimulate the production of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which are important for muscle growth and repair. CLA can also activate the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma), which regulates the differentiation of fat cells and muscle cells. By doing so, CLA can help to increase the number and size of muscle cells and decrease the number and size of fat cells.
Heart health: CLA may help to improve heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and improving blood pressure. CLA can lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol that can clog the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. CLA can also increase the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol that can protect the arteries and lower the risk of heart disease. CLA can also relax the blood vessels and lower the blood pressure, which can reduce the strain on the heart and prevent hypertension.
Other potential benefits: CLA may also have other potential benefits, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and improving immune function. CLA can improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, which can prevent blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance, the main causes of type 2 diabetes. CLA can also modulate the production of cytokines, which are the molecules that regulate the immune response and inflammation. CLA can help to balance the levels of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which can enhance the immune system and prevent chronic diseases.
Safety and side effects of CLA
CLA is generally safe for most people when taken at recommended dosages. However, some people may experience side effects, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and fatigue. CLA may also interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and blood pressure medications. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking CLA supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
Some of the possible side effects and risks of CLA are:
Digestive issues: CLA may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas. These side effects are more likely to occur at higher doses and may subside over time. To minimize these side effects, it is advisable to start with a low dose and gradually increase it, and to take CLA with food and plenty of water.
Fatigue: CLA may cause fatigue, drowsiness, and reduced energy levels. This may be due to the increased fat oxidation and reduced carbohydrate metabolism that CLA induces. To avoid these side effects, it is advisable to take CLA in the morning or early afternoon, and to avoid taking it before bedtime or with caffeine.
Insulin resistance: CLA may impair insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, especially in people who are obese or have diabetes. This may lead to increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which can worsen the symptoms and complications of diabetes. To prevent these side effects, it is advisable to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and consult your doctor before taking CLA if you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it.
Blood lipids: CLA may affect the levels of blood lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. CLA may lower the levels of LDL cholesterol and raise the levels of HDL cholesterol, which can be beneficial for heart health. However, CLA may also increase the levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, which can be harmful for heart health. To avoid these side effects, it is advisable to check your blood lipid levels regularly and consult your doctor before taking CLA if you have high cholesterol or triglycerides or are at risk of developing them.
Liver function: CLA may impair liver function and cause liver damage, especially at high doses and long-term use. CLA may increase the levels of liver enzymes, such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), which are markers of liver inflammation and injury. CLA may also increase the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. To prevent these side effects, it is advisable to limit your intake of CLA to no more than 6 grams per day and no longer than 12 months, and to monitor your liver function tests regularly and consult your doctor before taking CLA if you have liver problems or are at risk of developing them.
The recommended dosage of CLA varies depending on the individual’s needs and goals. However, most studies have used dosages of 3-6 grams per day, divided into two or three doses, taken with meals. This dosage range has been shown to be effective and safe for weight loss and body composition improvement. However, some people may need higher or lower doses to achieve their desired results. It is advisable to start with a low dose and gradually increase it, and to consult your doctor before taking CLA supplements.
Best CLA supplements in Singapore
If you are looking for the best CLA supplements in Singapore, you may want to consider the following products:
BPI Sports CLA + Carnitine, 350g: This product combines CLA with L-carnitine, another fat-burning ingredient that helps transport fatty acids into the mitochondria for energy production. This product claims to help reduce body fat, preserve lean muscle mass, enhance performance, and support metabolism. Each serving provides 2.5 grams of CLA and 2 grams of L-carnitine.
Sports Research, CLA 1250, 1250 mg, 90-180 Softgels: This product contains pure CLA derived from non-GMO safflower oil, with no artificial ingredients or additives. This product claims to help reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and support metabolism. Each softgel provides 1.25 grams of CLA.
PVL Isolated CLA 1250, 180 Softgels: This product contains isolated CLA, which means it has a higher concentration of the active t10, c12 isomer that is responsible for fat metabolism and body composition. Each softgel provides 1.25 grams of isolated CLA.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to have various health benefits, especially for weight loss and body composition. CLA can help to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, improve heart health, and more. However, CLA may also have some side effects and risks, such as digestive issues, fatigue, insulin resistance, blood lipids, and liver function. Therefore, it is important to take CLA supplements with caution and consult your doctor before using them.
If you are interested in trying CLA supplements, you can find the best CLA products in Singapore at Ultimate Sup, the leading online store for sports nutrition and fitness supplements. Ultimate Sup offers high-quality CLA products from reputable brands, such as BPI Sports, Sports Research, and PVL. Ultimate Sup also provides fast and free delivery, secure payment, and excellent customer service. Visit our website today and get your CLA supplements at the best prices!