Conjugated Linoleic Acid - CLA

Conjugated Linoleic Acid - CLA Benefits

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a type of unsaturated fatty acid that is found in meat and dairy products of ruminant animals, such as cows and sheep. CLA consist of at least 28 different forms (isomers) of the fatty acid known as Linoleic acid. Conjugated forms of Linoleic acid are where there are at least two double bonds in the molecule, with only a single bond between them.

Even though meat and dairy products are the best sources of CLA, many people today choose to take it in the form of a supplement. Researchers have studied the effects of CLA since the 1970s, and they have found that CLA has many potential health benefits. Below are some of the potential benefits:

Prevention of Cancer

There have been studies performed on animals that have shown that increasing one’s intake of CLA by 0.5 percent can reduce the risk of cancer by up to 50 percent. Breast, colon, skin and stomach cancer are the types that this supplement can potentially help prevent. CLA may help to prevent cancer by reducing the growth of both benign and malignant tumors.

Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent type of diabetes. It occurs when the body produces insulin, but the cells are unable to respond to it. There was a study done where type 2 diabetic mice were given a CLA supplement. The results of the study showed that CLA can improve insulin action and decrease blood glucose.

Furthermore, there was an eight-week study performed on humans that showed similar results. Researchers believe that CLA mimics the actions of synthetic diabetic drugs.

Promotes Weight Loss

Health experts have been debating about whether or not CLA can cause weight loss. However, there has been evidence to suggest that this supplement can indeed have a modest effect on weight loss. One of the studies was performed by Lipid Nutrition, which is a company in Los Angeles that sells weight loss products.

The study consisted of 105 subjects who were placed into two groups. One of the groups was given a CLA supplement while the other group was given a placebo. The results of the study showed that the subjects who were given the CLA supplement lost an average of 5.6 percent more body fat than the placebo group. They also lost an average 3.3 pounds more than the placebo group.

Improves Immune System Function

Some studies suggest that people who take CLA supplements suffer from fewer colds and are less likely to develop the flu. CLA helps reduce the amount of prostaglandins and leukotrienes in the body. Both of these substances can potentially suppress the immune system. Additionally, CLA can benefit people who suffer from allergies. This supplement can block the release of IgE antibodies, which are the antibodies that trigger allergies.

Prevent Heart Disease

Heart disease is the top killer of both men and women in the United States. CLA supplements have been shown to potentially reduce the risk of this condition. This supplement helps reduce LDL, which is better known as the bad cholesterol. High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease.

CLA can also help prevent atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that causes plaque to build up in the arteries. This condition can potentially lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Arthritis Management

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and inflammation around the joints. CLA has anti-inflammatory properties and can potentially help treat and prevent arthritis.

Possible Side Effects of CLA

CLA is safe and has a number of health benefits, but people should be cognizant of the fact that it does not come without side effects. Diarrhea, nausea and fatigue are some of the most commonly reported side effects. These side effects usually go away once the body gets adjusted to using CLA. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use CLA.

Even though CLA can potentially help lower blood sugar, this supplement can potentially increase the risk of diabetes in some patients. For that reason, people who have metabolic syndrome should avoid using CLA. Metabolic syndrome is a term that is used to describe a cluster of medical conditions that make a person more susceptible to developing heart disease. Furthermore, people who have diabetes should consult with their physician before they use this supplement.

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