What is CLA?

A client asked me the other day about CLA: what it is and how it works in the body.  Well known in the world of body building as a “must take” supplement, this is one that I have been taking for years and recommend to all my clients who want to get lean and mean.

CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acida fatty acid known for promoting good health. Decades of research indicates that CLA actually changes body composition by reducing body fat and increasing or preserving lean muscle mass—giving you a leaner, healthier appearance. It prevents the storage of fat on your belly and in the liver.  Studies have shown that you literally can lose 6-8 lbs. of belly fat in the first 6 months of usage.

Derived from natural safflower oil, CLA inhibits lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat from our diets.

You see, once fat is broken down in the body, it is then stored in the fat cells. By suppressing lipoprotein lipase, CLA helps reduce the amount of fat that is broken down and, therefore, reduces the amount of fat that is stored. Combined with a balanced diet and exercise, CLA can help you lose body fat, and keep it off.

CLA works in three ways:

1.  It reduces body fat by decreasing the amount of fat your body stores.

It does this by decreasing the amount of fat stored after eating; increasing how fast fat is broken down in fat cells; increasing the rate of fat metabolism; and decreasing the total number of fat cells in our bodies.

2.  It maintains lean muscle by helping your body burn calories more efficiently.

3.  It prevents fat cells from refilling with fat, so you maintain a leaner look.

CLA was first identified in 1978 when Dr. Michael Pariza was studying beef extract at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to see if it might help prevent cancer. What he found was unexpected.  Dr. Pariza’s initial research suggested two important possibilities:

First, that CLA helps reduce body fat, and second, that it helps maintain lean muscle tissue.  These initial findings attracted great interest, and a surge of scientific studies and research followed.

CLA is already in the foods we eat, but there is less of it now.  Beef and dairy used to be our biggest sources of CLA, but diets have changed over the past 30 years. We eat more low-fat dairy now, and cows eat more grain than grass. These changes have drastically reduced the amount of CLA we all consume.

The recommended daily dose of CLA is 3.4 grams.  To achieve this level through your diet, you would have to consume more than 4 gallons of ice cream, seven pounds of beef, or almost 4 gallons of whole milk everyday!

I take TONALIN® CLA, the leading brand of CLA.  You can find this brand of CLA under a variety of labels. Scientists developed a proprietary process to convert the linoleic acid of pure safflower oil into CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)—making it easy to take advantage of CLA’s many benefits.  Other brands of CLA may use sunflower oil, which yields a less effective product.

Try it and see what you think!

Live with Simplicity,