CLA is sold as a weight loss supplement. Claims include statements such as CLA is the new Scientific Breakthrough supplement that has been clinically proven to reduce bodyfat and increase lean muscle mass. Excellent results have been shown in men & women. Clinical trials have been successful in mice, but none have proven weight loss in humans. However, CLA has been shown to help KEEP the fat off once your goal has been reached.
According to a study at the University of Wisconsin:
Dr. Michael Pariza, who conducted research on CLA with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reported in August 2000 to the American Chemical Society that “It doesn’t make a big fat cell get little. What it rather does is keep a little fat cell from getting big.”
Pariza’s research did not find weight loss in his group of 71 overweight people, but what he did find was that when the dieters stopped dieting, and gained back weight, those taking CLA “were more likely to gain muscle and not fat.” In a separate study conducted at Purdue University in Indiana, CLA was found to improve insulin levels in about two-thirds of diabetic patients, and moderately reduced the blood glucose level and triglyceride levels.
Most of the studies on CLA are conducted with the intent to learn the effects of CLA as a cancer treatment or preventative. Further studies are necessary to determine the full benefits of CLA to weight loss or maintenance. In the meantime, usage of CLA appears safe, although it may not be effective. The effects of long term usage are unknown. Side effects include mild gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea. CLA may not help you lose weight, but it might help you keep it off later.