Nutrition Made Simple


March 16 2021



CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acids belong to a family of at least 28 isomers of linoleic acid that are obtained in the meat and dairy products that are derived from ruminants. The difference between the 28 forms of CLA is that their double bonds are arranged in various ways. 

The two double bonds in the chemical formula diagram are conjugated means they are separated by two single bonds. 

CLA is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is a popular dietary supplement and is sold with claims of helping people lose fat, maintains weight loss, and retain lean muscle mass and control type-2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can often cause obesity. 

CLA is trans fat which can be called unhealthy fats. Since Conjugated Linoleic Acid(CLA) is a natural form of trans fat, it doesn't seem to have that many negative side effects as artificially produced, industrial trans fats.  

Alvizia's Conjugated Linoleic Acid ( CLA) is highly beneficial for the overall health of the body. It helps in aiding fat burning and also helps in losing the weight of the body and also helps in improving skin health. It is essentially a type of polyunsaturated, omega-6 fatty acid. It is also known for modifying body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors. 

History of CLA 

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin in 1979 had applied a beef extract to mice skin and those mice skin were then exposed to a strong carcinogen. Researchers when 16 days later counted the number of tumors developed by the mice, found that the mice exposed to the beef extract had 20% fewer tumors. Later, the scientist who discovered CLA, Michael Parizza remarked that 'few anticarcinogens', and certainly no other known fatty acids, are effective as CLA in inhibiting carcinogenesis in these models. Researchers found that the forms of CLA can help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps in fighting inflammation.

Benefits of CLA

Helps in losing weight

Few researchers have found that Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) can help in reducing body fat levels. 

A 2015 review paper study has shown that CLA plays an important role in breaking down fats in the body. CLA acts as a great weight loss supplement in the world. Animal studies have shown that CLA can help in reducing body fat in several ways.

Few pieces of mouse studies have shown CLA helps in reducing food intake, helps in increasing the burning of fat, stimulates fat breakdown, and also inhibits fat production.

Mice that took the supplementation of CLA had lost subcutaneous fat, which is a protective, healthy form of fat, without losing visceral fat.

CLA is highly effective in reducing fat in the human body. It helps in improving body composition by reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass.

In the review of 18 controlled trials conducted by the researchers, CL A is found to cause modest fat loss.

May help in bodybuilding

There are no significant studies that have shown that CLA is helpful in bodybuilding. However, a 2015 study has suggested that the benefits of taking CLA supplements alongside doing exercise may vary.

Few pieces of research have shown that the supplementation of CLA could help in reducing body fat and helps in improving lean body mass, which is the ratio of fat to body weight.

One study has shown that the consumption of 1.8 mg of CLA for 12 weeks by the people who went to the gym for 90 minutes three times per week had reduced body fat but not their body weight when the researchers compared them with the placebo group.

Beneficial for heart health

One 2018 study on obese mice has shown that the supplement of CLA helps in protecting against atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries is when the plaque helps in building up the arteries. This is a major risk factor for heart disease.

However, more research is required to prove the benefit of CLA on heart health. 

Other potential health benefits of CLA 

CLA is found in the fatty meat ad dairy of ruminant animals.

It has been shown that people who take a lot of CLA from foods are at a lower risk of various diseases, including type-2  diabetes.

Many studies have also shown that the people who consume a lot of CLA have improved metabolic health and possess a lower risk of many diseases.

Sources of CLA

Many foods are rich in CLA and thus the consumption of those foods helps to improve the health of a person.

Meat and dairy 

Animal products from ruminants, such as cows, goats, sheep, and dear contain a high amount of CLA. Products obtained from grass-fed animals contain more CLA than those from grain-fed animals.

Numerous studies have shown that grass-based diets help in improving fatty acid ratios, and specifically helps in increasing CLA and Omega-3 content.

Soybean or linseed oil helps in increasing the amount of CLA in their milk fat.

The most effective and popular method of consuming CLA- rich butter is bulletproof coffee, which combines coffee, oil, and butter.


Eggs are another source that is rich in CLA. CLA is obtained from the egg yolks of eggs. 


Milk that is obtained mainly from the grass-fed cows contains high amounts of CLA. A study that has been published in 2004 in 'Circulation' had reported that cows that are fed grass at high altitudes have a high amount of CLA content than those fed at lower altitudes due to the omega-3 fatty acid content that is present in the grass.


According to a study in October 1999, the most abundant source of CLA is beef from grass-fed cows. Grass-fed cows have much more amount of CLA present than cows that eat a typical corn diet. It has been found that fresh ground beef contains 4.3 grams of CLA per gram of fat. 

Dosage of CLA 

Most studies have shown that there should be the consumption of CLA of about 3.2-6.4 grams per day.

One review has concluded that a minimum of 3 grams daily is necessary for weight loss. 

It has been found that doses of up to 6 grams per day are considered sade with no report of serious side effects.

This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

Tagged: CLA, Softgels, Weight-Management


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