CLA- Benefits, Side Effects, and Dosage

People, who firmly believe in nutritional supplements believe that CLA is actually helpful in making people thin but the question is it really true or is it just another rumor or myth?

So let us get started!

CLA Weight loss benefits

Have you ever heard this phrase “diamond cuts diamond” the same very scenario is here where “Lose fat with fat!” we know how strange it may sound but something similar is happening here.

There are a number of dieters alone in the USA who consume supplements that contain the fatty acid Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) are confident that this trend of weight loss does possess some truth in it.

They have discovered that when they have combined the apt diet and exercise with the use of Conjugated linoleic acid, this fatty acid tends to decrease body fat % but it also improves the strength of muscle and stamina for exercise.

Furthermore, now science has interest in learning whether or not these claims really weigh something or not whereas CLA seems to confront it the right way!

Conjugated linoleic acid is naturally present. It is basically a fatty acid quite same to an omega-6 fatty acid but with positive effects on the consumers’ health.

benefits of CLAUsually, these benefits have the connection to skin or weight loss.

It comes under the category of good fats and typically, it is available in dairy items (whole milk & eggs) or beef, lamb (animal flesh) but in a low amount.

The irony is beef and dairy products are food items that are also high in bad fats (saturated fats) so if people are consuming or trying cover up their requirement of CLA through the consumption of beef or dairy products.

We will certainly have a problem because this usage will eventually also increase the ratio of bad fat in their bodies.

Another interesting thing about Conjugated linoleic acid is even though it is a fat; its daily consumption 1.5- 3.0 is likely to cause an overall loss of the body fat and to get such result your daily intake should include

  • A pound of cheese
  • 100 ounces milk
  • 2 pounds beef

Moreover, enhanced values of CLA should not come only by the consumption of beef or dairy items but its supplementation is also possible.

Recommended: Try CLA Safflower Oil for Rapid Weight Loss

History of CLA

CLA is one of the types of fatty acids that come handy in elevating the speed of metabolism, jack up the immune system, and keep the levels of cholesterol in the right range.

The human body cannot produce CLA on its own, the outsourcing is mandatory.

The researchers started taking interest in the characteristics of CLA in the late 1980s when a professor (Michael W. Pariza) in the Department of Food Microbiology and Toxicology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison observed an agent (working in an isolated way) in a hamburger.

This agent significantly declined the occurrence of cancer in the subjects (mice).

A few years later, they unveiled that dark horse substance (mystery element), the element was a chemical type of linoleic acid, and they named it CLA or conjugated linoleic acid.

This discovery was a revolution because after this discovery there were a number of other studies.

Every study had its own set of variables and due to a distinctive set of variables, the conclusions have variation too, but one thing was constant and common in every study that was the fact that conjugated linoleic acid is able to help an individual in losing body fat.

A Norwegian study in the year of 2000 was the most popular one among all.

CLA supplements for weight lossAs per the study findings, conjugated linoleic acid happened to bring down fat % of the body and retain muscle tissues in the participants, the noticeable feature about this study was that these participants did not change their diets even a bit.

Moreover, the manager disclosed the participants who were on CLA group reduced up to 6 more pounds of the body fat than those who were in the placebo group.

Additionally, the Journal of Internal Medicine Research provides even another striking point and that is people, who possess normal body weight, tend to lose body fat if exercise.

International Journal of Obesity revealed that CLA has the potential to decline abdominal fat ratio in obese males and the scientists of Louisiana State University disclosed the findings that approximately 88% reduction in the overall body fat in male mice was possible when these subjects (mice) were on CLA for a duration of six weeks.

Working Mechanism of CLA

CLA basically promotes Basal Metabolic Rates.

Hence, these improved rates decrease the body fat. If we take it another way, it actually aids body’s mechanism of food conversion into energy in a more effective way.

Michael W. Pariza
Emeritus Professor, Food Science

Do remember, CLA does not decrease the overall weight of the user but as a matter of fact, it keeps the fat cells at bay from getting bigger in the size, according to Pariza.

This is not a small thing because it can be a real game changer. It possesses the potential of altering fat-to-muscle ratio.

In one study, Professor Pariza realized that when participants stopped dieting, they did not administer CLA either, put their weight back in a usual manner around 75% fat to 25% muscle.

However, the subjects who stopped dieting but still, they were administering CLA, also put on weight but their muscle to fat ratio was a 50-50

CLA’s health benefits are just limited to weight loss benefits but there are clinical studies that suggest that in addition to improving the strength of muscles or body endurance, CLA is likely to influence some specific illnesses.

Cancer and asthma researcher Dr. Delbert Dorscheid on the faculty in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Chicago University, he reviewed almost 200 clinical studies worldwide on the topic of CLA health benefits.

He found that females who tend to improve the CLA ratio in their body are less likely to have breast cancer.

Moreover, quite a similar finding is present in the case of colon and prostate cancer.

Delbert R Dorscheid
Associate Professor Department of Medicine

CLA health benefits also include improvement in the immune system and a significant decline in cardiovascular issues, osteoporosis, type II diabetes and even some types of allergies.

Michael W. Pariza has mentioned that CLA is still in the initial stage. However, it is just that there coverage has been better than the other findings.

There is no doubt, “CLA has a significant influence on the accumulation of the body fat but its stimulation, or influence on muscles is not certain.

Moreover, in animal studies, CLA happened to reduce many types of cancer but not all of them.

This is also noticeable that its effects on diabetes are still in the pipeline and it will take time to prove them 100%.

Even if CLA did not come up as a miraculous possible cure for cancer, it would come forward as a famous dietary item.

Who can enjoy its benefits?


Is CLA for you?

Yes, it might be, only if you are aware how to consume it.

Most of the studies are on the same page regarding the dose.

As per those studies, an individual should take 3.4 gm or 3,400 mg of CLA to receive its right benefits, it is important to note that in each study, the total amount in most of the studies was 2 to 3 times higher than the recommended dose whereas the treatment period was just twelve weeks.


The source of these 3.4 grams of CLA is still debatable.

In Peter W. Parodi’s opinion, among all the sources of CLA that are available, milk is the richest source of it.

He is not any random person to comment on the source of this fatty acid but he is actually in Victoria, Australia, a food scientist with the diary Research and Development Corporation.

Unfortunately, in the name of taking low-fat diet, Americans are quite reluctant in consuming red meats or dairy products and the percentage is dramatically low.

Even studies at Wisconsin University reveal that the consumption of conjugated linoleic acid has plunged up to 80 % in the last 20 years.

The sad part is even when you are drinking several glasses of milk a day; still, you will not be able to attain the adequate amount of CLA from it.

Why is it so?

Dosage of CLAThere have been dramatic changes in the livestock feeding practices for the last 50 years and those malpractices have eliminated natural CLA presence from the diet of normal consumers.

Larry D. Satter, Ph.D. (an agricultural research dairy scientist at Madison; the US Dairy Forage Research center), has recently conducted a research, in the search he has happened to compare the ratio of CLA in the milk of cows that are grazing (on pasture) to the ratio of CLA in the milk of cows that were consuming silage.

Sattar findings were nothing unusual he just confirms the theory that pasture-grazing cows were better and they had around 500% more CLA in their milk than the cows, which were on silage.

These statistics are not just limited to the milk only as the meat of pasture-fed cows were better in the CLA ratio.

The good part is that less CLA milk is likely to be numbered.


As the University of Alberta, Canada, scientists have claimed that currently, they are working on developing milk that has higher levels of CLA by introducing oils like safflower, canola, flaxseed, or linseed to the diet of the animal.

The patent is pending on the design/ formula.

Until the patent, Pariza says that supplements are the aptest and the healthiest method to improve CLA because the supplements have the specific formulation and they can assist in biological active CLA isomers; chemical compounds.

In food items where conjugated linoleic acid is present naturally, for instance, dairy or beef has connection with Fat.

Hence, to better the CLA ratio, you must eat excessive fat.

Are all CLA dietary supplement similar?

Not really, every brand has its own ratio of active CLA.

CLA for weight loss

Every formula has different oils as the ingredients.

Thus, one needs to check how much each product is actually delivering to assure the presence of the required daily amount of 3.4 grams.

The calculation is pretty simple if a capsule is 1000 mg and it has 75% CLA, it means the user will be getting 750 mg of CLA and the user will need 5 capsules a day to get the daily requirement that is 3.4 grams (3,400 mg).

The most typical form of CLA that is present in research is patented formula called Tonalin.

Tonalin is available through the various brands, such as Jarrow Formulas, Natrol, and Nature’s Way.

Most of the consumers find it convenient to consume Conjugated linoleic acid supplements either prior to or with meals.

Side Effects occurrence is not very frequent but it is likely to include upset stomach or nausea.

These mild side effects decreases when the supplement consumption is done with protein for example milk that is low in fat.

A Reminder:

It is pivotal to remember, CLA is not a magic potent, it will not be able to hide your negligence of poor habits of eating or lack of exercise people have reported that these side effects usually subside after the period of two weeks.

The good part is till this date, no serious side effects or health risks have emerged with the supplementation of Conjugated linoleic acid.

According to Pariza, CLA offers cardinal psychological benefits while dieting.

He noticed in his research, Pariza discovered who was on Conjugated linoleic acid again and again reported that they experienced better than those who were on placebo.

Basically, it was linked with decreasing the stress of a weight-loss diethe says. “CLA is supportive for people who are dieting partially because better results encourage people to adhere to the diet for a longer period and CLA can come handy.”