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Old 01-24-2006, 07:06 PM   #1  
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Default Has anyone tried CLA?

I've been reading up on CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and it's supposed to be very good for weight loss. Has anyone tried it or know someone who has? Were the results good?
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Old 01-24-2006, 08:47 PM   #2  
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It's probably not good for weight loss, but it may be good for keeping lost weight off, with a little warning.

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.
Other similar studies have had the same results. One study of 180 volunteers showed that volunteers who took 3.4 grams of CLA per day lost 4 pounds over the course of a whole year. That doesn't quite seem worth the effort and the money. However, studies done on people that have already lost the weight showed that those taking CLA during maintenance were less likely to gain back their fat. So the best advice would be to wait until you reach goal to try CLA.

Here's the little warning: It's important to note that there have not been any studies on long term safety. Plus, in the study of the people that lost the 4 pounds over the year, additional tests showed they increased their risks for heart disease because those taking CLA increased their "bad" cholesterol and lowered their "good" cholesterol. And the CLA group had higher white blood cell counts and lipoprotein (a) levels. Both are markers of inflammation linked to heart disease.
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:08 AM   #3  
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S/C/G: 185/138/~135 to maintain

Height: 5' 6"


I'm on CLA at the moment--and yes, it's more for maintenance than straight-up weight loss (I'm also exercising regularly and eating better - so I'm not attributing all of my weight loss to CLA.) I believe there's another study out there that suggests CLA preventing gain of abdominal fat (the kind that leads to insulin resistance and increases vulnerability to diabetes),which is another reason why I take it (being Asian is enough of a diabetes risk factor for me :P)

But haven't heard about the inflammation & cholesterol part (though it has been noted that CLA is technically a trans-fat), maybe its contraindicative of other behavior/lifestyles--I'll have to dig into that a little bit more.
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Old 01-25-2006, 01:29 PM   #4  
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For another perspective, here's what Dr. Andrew Weil has to say about CLA:

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a form of linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid found naturally in beef and the milk fat in dairy products. I’m aware that CLA supplements are being widely promoted for weight loss, but while they do seem to work in mice, no studies have shown similar effects in humans. Indeed, a recently completed study by the Agricultural Research Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed no reduction in body fat or increase in muscle mass. Furthermore, there were no lasting changes in levels of leptin, a hormone linked to appetite control. A Swedish study reported two years ago found that none of the participants lost weight but many complained of nausea while taking the required 12 capsules of CLA advertisement


And, in a study at the University of Wisconsin, CLA didn’t help obese volunteers lose any more weight than those given a placebo, even when both groups were on a low calorie diet. The study was halted after nine months when it became clear that those taking CLA supplements weren’t losing any more weight than those in the other group. However, in reporting the results, researcher Richard L. Atkinson, MD said human studies comparable to some of those done in animals are needed to see if CLA can prevent people from gaining too much weight.
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