Nutrition Made Simple


February 22 2021



What is conjugated linoleic acid?

Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid, and a popular weight loss supplement found primarily in meat, vegetable oils and dairy products. It is the most commonly found omega-6 fatty acid, and exists in 28 different forms.

The major and most considerable difference in these forms of conjugated linoleic acid is their double bond arrangement. This might appear as minute, but makes a lot of difference and therefore, these different forms have distinctive identities and functions.

Supplements of CLA, may also modulate the immune functions, help in synthesis of glycogen and aggravate mineralization of bones.

Origin of conjugated linoleic acid: the dairy products from ruminants are a major source of CLA for humans, and it is formed as a result of biohydrogenation and desaturation reactions that occur in their bodies. The concentration of conjugated linoleic acid in these dairy products is 3 to 7 miligrams, depending on the specific product. The content of CLA in dairy products is affected by the diet of animals, their age, breed and many other seasonal factors. For instance, the concentration of conjugated linoleic acid increases as the grass intake of an animal is increased. The milk from cows has double the amount of CLA when produced in the late spring as compared to the milk produced in winters.

Why take conjugated linoleic acid supplementation?

Most of the people take conjugated linoleic acid because of its beneficial effects in weight loss and heart health. However, evidence of the same are sort of mixed, mainly because the studies or researches related to this polyunsaturated fatty acid involve animals and not humans.

Here are some possible health benefits of the conjugated linoleic acid:

  • Weight loss: when compared with placebo groups, many studies show that conjugated linoleic acid promotes slight loss in weight. Since many studies show a considerable amount of weight loss in animals, it is not necessary that the same implies to human beings. However, these supplements are recommended by dieticians, to aid the weight loss process.
  • Muscle building/ bodybuilding: the benefits of conjugated linoleic acid on body building with exercises vary from person to person and other conditions as well, suggests a 2015 review of a research for the same. Lean body mass, which is the ratio of fat to body weight, was improved by the conjugated linoleic acid supplements in a research. However, the evidence is kind of inconsistent, and differs in different conditions.
  • Heart health: hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) occurs in the body when plaque builds up in the blood vessels (arteries) and is a factor inducing many heart diseases. A study was carried out on obese mice, which suggested that conjugated linoleic acid supplements can actually protect the heart by atherosclerosis. Since heart diseases are one of the reasons for death in many populations, they should be taken care of at the earliest. CLA supplements help regulate the blood flow, improving high blood pressure conditions, and hence, enhance the heart health. 
  • Skin benefits: conjugated linoleic acid has shown some great effects in boosting up the health of the skin, giving it a natural glow. Since omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids are considered good for the skin and hair health, CLA being a primary source of omega-6 fatty acids serves the same function when taken.
  • Metabolism: supplements of conjugated linoleic fatty acids can actually boost up your metabolism. Being a polyunsaturated fatty acid, it aids in weight loss, fat loss and bodybuilding, and enhances the metabolic pathway which is a major health benefit. CLA is directly linked to lipid metabolism, especially when an oxidative cellular system is involved. It further inhibits the entry of glucose into In a study, 2.2 grams of CLA was able to elevate blood triglyceride values, after 3 weeks of supplementation.
  • Immunity: conjugated linoleic acid boosts up the immune functions of the body, helping the body fighting against various infectious diseases as well as allergies. Conjugated linoleic acid foods and supplements enhance the functions of all the systems of the human body and have much effective anti- inflammatory properties too.

  Sources of conjugated linoleic acid: 

  • Meat and dairy products: various animal products, from sheep, deer, cows, goats contain conjugated linoleic acid. These include milk, cheese, meat, cottage cheese (paneer). The amount of the CLA component in the serving of these dairy products depends on various farming techniques undertaken. For example, animals that are fed grass based diets, improve the ratio of fatty acids, mainly omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acid. It also enhances the antioxidant intake of our body. Animals who are fed plant based linoleic acid sources such as soybean, also enhance the amount of conjugated linoleic acid in their products.
  • Conjugated linoleic acid supplements: the content of conjugated linoleic acid in supplements is very different from what is found in the naturally occurring sources of the same. The manufacturing process of these supplements involves chemical alteration of plant sources of conjugated linoleic acid.

Alvizia’s conjugated linoleic acid supplement is available in various quantities. It is highly recommended (with limited and prescribed usage) for fitness enthusiasts, who are trying to lose weight and gain muscles. It is helpful in enhancing skin health, boosting up the metabolic pathway of the body, and aids in mood upliftment as well as weight loss. With every capsule, you get a healthy dose of 1000 mg conjugated linoleic acid.

Note: Although it’s generally safe to use conjugated linoleic acid supplements, in some rare cases, people might experience some mild side effects that include an upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation and indigestion. In these cases, one must see a dietician or physician. Pregnant or lactating women and children should not use these supplements.

Dosage of conjugated linoleic acid

Studies show that at least 3 grams of CLA, shows great effects in body functions including immunity, metabolism and heart health. For fat loss, quantities between 3.4 g to 6.8 g are recommended by many dieticians, studies suggest. However, there are no specific guidelines available for the dosage of conjugated linoleic acid, so it should be consumed on the recommendations of your dietician.

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

Tagged: CLA, Softgels, Weight-Management, Workout-Support


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