Can CLA Help in Losing Weight?

Can CLA Help in Losing Weight?

CLA is produced from linoleic acid (found in high amounts in sunflower and safflower oil) utilizing a process that gently converts the linoleic acid into conjugated linoleic acid. But how can a fatty acid help in the challenge of reducing body fat while increasing lean muscle mass? A number of studies have demonstrated that CLA reduces fat mass, while increasing lean body mass. A recent human study investigating the effect of 4.2g CLA/day in 53 normal healthy individuals led to a significant decrease (3.8%) in body fat compared with individuals not taking CLA4. In addition a study in obese and overweight populations demonstrated that at least 3.4 g CLA/d for a period of 12 weeks was necessary to see a significant reduction in body fat.Can CLA Help in Losing Weight?

CLA is very easy to find – if you eat grass-fed meat. It’s found in the meat, fat, and milk of grass-fed ruminants (cows and sheep).

The recommended daily intake from food is typically between 350mg and 1 gram per day. Most people eating a modern diet get much less than this, but it’s not hard to hit the target if you’re eating pasture-raised ruminants. Here’s the CLA content of some common foods:


Grass-fed whole milk (3.25% fat): about 175mg in an 8-ounce glass.

Heavy cream (36% fat) made from grass-fed milk: about 118mg per tbsp.

Butter (80% fat) made from grass-fed milk: about 246 mg per tbsp.

To get the equivalent numbers for grain-fed products, divide by 5.


Beef: between 1.2 and 10 mg per gram of fat (depending on how the cow was raised).

Lamb: between 4.3 and 11 mg per gram of fat.

Turkey, chicken, and pork: much smaller amounts, even if the animals were raised on pasture.

Can CLA Help in Losing Weight?CLA is definitely a nutrient you want in your diet. Is it a magical cure for obesity? No. Nothing is a magical cure for obesity. There is no supplement, pill, injection, diet, or exercise hack that will make weight loss effortless. But CLA does clearly have some anti-obesogenic effects, which probably bring the most benefit when it’s consumed regularly from whole foods, over the course of an entire lifetime. CLA works to reduce body fat by increasing metabolism, converting food efficiently into energy. While it may be misleading to say CLA promotes weight loss per se, it does increase lean body mass by preventing fat cells from growing, promoting a loss of inches instead of weight. And the benefits don’t stop there. CLA can also help increase muscle strength and exercise endurance. Luckily, getting enough CLA is easy and delicious. Pastured, grass-fed butter is probably the cheapest source, but any grass-fed beef, lamb, or dairy product will do the trick. So enjoy some butter on your steak, secure in the knowledge that not only is it delicious, it’s actually helping you get (or stay) thin.

From this latest research, we now know that we shouldn’t have to take any more than 3.4 grams a day of CLA to achieve significant reductions in body fat levels. Keep in mind that these reductions were achieved without any changes in diet or exercise. We should see even better results when these areas are addressed.

CLA Dosage for Women for Weight Loss

CLA Dosage for Women for Weight Loss

CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, belongs to the omega family of fatty acids- specifically; CLA is a mixture of at least 28 positional and geometric isomers of linoleic acid – an essential omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid. Being essential means these fatty acids cannot be produced by the body alone and therefore must be consumed through the diet. CLA has a series of functions within the body, whereby its consumption is required for normal food and energy metabolism and to achieve a healthy nutritional status. CLA can be found in common foods that come from animal products, including meat and dairy however, a large growth in interest of CLA supplements has recently emerged in relation to its weight loss and other health benefits.

CLA Dosage for Women for Weight LossTaking a CLA supplement can provide you with health benefits including muscle growth and weight loss when combined with exercise, disease prevention and increased energy. Typically, as you lose weight you also experience a decrease in muscle mass, but CLA aids in preserving muscle mass while increasing your body’s metabolism. This increased metabolism increases your energy levels and your body’s ability to burn calories. Conjugated linoleic acid may lower LDL cholesterol, and can enhance your immune system, increasing your overall health. The supplement also contains antioxidants, which can help to prevent diseases such as cancer.

Our basal metabolic rate is the minimum amount of energy the body requires just to function, whereby an increase in BMR simply means food can be converted into energy at a more efficient rate. CLA is involved in a series of metabolic reactions that regulate fat tissue in the body whereby it is actually thought that through increase the metabolic rate CLA doesn’t decrease overall body weight; but actually acts to alter the body fat to muscle ratio and increase energy expenditure.

CLA Dosage for Women for Weight LossCan you get enough CLA in your diet to achieve beneficial effects on body composition? Probably not, at least if you eat a healthy diet. CLA is found in small quantities in beef, lamb and dairy products. The concentrations in these foods can vary widely. Usually the higher the fat content, the higher the levels of CLA (e.g., whole milk has more CLA than skim milk). Studies provide evidence for favorable effects of CLA on body composition that are independent of diet and exercise. The effects are relatively small, but arguably of important clinical significance.

Small changes in fat and lean body mass are important, and pave the way to big changes over longer periods of time. These studies and others show effective doses of CLA to be in the 2 to 4 grams per day range (equals 3 to 5 softgels per day assuming each softgel contains about 750 mg of CLA). Importantly, studies show that these doses are safe and not associated with an increased frequency of significant adverse responses.

The usual intake of CLA for people who regularly eat beef is estimated to be a little more than 200 mg/day and about half that for people who avoid beef. The doses used in studies that show improved fat loss use levels that are 10 to 30-fold higher than that typically obtained in the diet, underscoring the need to use dietary supplements in order to achieve effective doses.

Breastfeeding and Herbal Supplements

Breastfeeding and Herbal Weight Loss Supplements

Using weight loss supplements while breastfeeding is not only unnecessary, but they also can have a negative impact on your baby’s health. It is much healthier for both you and your baby if you lose weight gradually and naturally. Evidence positively backing the use of weight loss supplements is mainly anecdotal, largely unsupported by the scientific community. While you’re breastfeeding is not the time to test their efficacy; you do not want to compromise your health or your baby’s.

A handful of common active ingredients are used in weight loss supplements, including: ephedra, chromium picolinate, and guar gum. While it can contribute to weight loss, ephedra has been associated with increased psychiatric distress, cardiac and digestive problems, hypertension, stroke and even death. Chromium picolinate has not been found to create meaningful weight loss, and it has been associated with rhabdomyolysis — the breakdown of muscle tissue — and kidney impairment. Guar gum has been found to be ineffective for weight loss, and it can cause gastrointestinal upset, reduced efficacy of oral contraceptives and interference with insulin medications. Caffeine is another common ingredient in “fat burners,” but caffeine in breast milk can affect infants for up to 120 hours.

Breastfeeding and Herbal Weight Loss SupplementsOne of the best ways to jump start your weight loss after giving birth is to breastfeed your baby exclusively, without using supplemental formula. Breastfeeding requires extra calories. If you maintain your normal diet — making sure it includes all the nutrients your baby needs to grow — you will have a small calorie deficit that will add up to weight loss in the postpartum period.

Don’t try fad diets or cut calories too severely or your own nutrition as well as your baby’s could suffer, especially when you’re trying to establish your milk supply. Making milk requires around 500 extra calories per day. If you don’t add those extra calories to your normal dietary intake, you will lose an extra 1 pound per week in addition to normal postpartum weight loss. Most nursing moms who eat according to their appetite, meaning they’re not restricting calorie intake, lose 1.3 to 1.6 pounds per month.

Some ingredients in over-the-counter diet products may not be safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns people not to use some of them. DO NOT use products that contain these ingredients:

  • Ephedrine is the main active ingredient of herbal ephedra, also known as ma huang. The FDA does not allow the sale of medicines that contain ephedrine or ephedra. Ephedra can cause serious side effects, including strokes and heart attacks.
  • BMPEA is a stimulant related to amphetamines. This chemical can lead to health problems such as dangerous high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, memory loss, and mood problems. Supplements with the herb Acacia rigidula labeled on the packaging often contain BMPEA, even though this chemical has never been found in that herb.
  • Breastfeeding and Herbal Weight Loss SupplementsDMBA and DMMA are stimulants that are chemically very similar to one another. They have been found in fat-burning and workout supplements. DMBA is also known as AMP citrate. Both chemicals can cause nervous system and heart problems.
  • Brazilian diet pills are also known as Emagrece Sim and Herbathin dietary supplements. The FDA has warned consumers not to buy these products. They contain stimulant drugs and drugs used to treat depression. These can cause severe mood swings.
  • Tiratricol is also known as triiodothyroacetic acid or TRIAC. These products contain a thyroid hormone, and they may increase the risk for thyroid disorders, heart attacks, and strokes.
  • Fiber supplements that contain guar gum have caused blockages in the intestines and esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach and intestines.
  • Chitosan is a dietary fiber from shellfish. Some products that contain chitosan are Natrol, Chroma Slim, and Enforma. People who are allergic to shellfish should not take these supplements.