Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is among the 28 isomers of linoleic acid, a group of compounds found in fatty acids, which occur naturally as trans saturated fats. It is an omega-6 polyunsaturated essential fatty acid providing support, flexibility, and structure to cell membranes.

The word conjugated has to do with the arrangement of the double bonds in the fatty acid molecule. Now, what does conjugated linoleic acid do? Researchers have shown that CLA supplements reduce fat and increase lean body mass among other of its health benefits. The consumption of foods high in conjugated linoleic acid may not be enough to trigger all the benefits. However, a research by Susanna C Larsson et al published at “American Society for clinical nutrition” in 2005 suggest that the consumption of foods with conjugated linoleic acid or foods high in conjugated linoleic acid reduces the risk of having cancer. In 2003, Dr Oz approved the supplement as a means to take away belly bulge in one of his fat-fighting section weeks.In that sense, more emphasis by Dr Oz is in its ability to burn fat and currently, a survey through the internet would lead you to many weight loss reviews confirming this benefit.

It can be observed that some researchers point at specific sources of CLA to be effective in a particular health benefit. Like the safflower oil CLA extract, that is known to prevent hardening of arteries, reduces heart disease risk and cholesterol. This is because CLA from safflower oil contains set of chemicals that can prevent blood clotting and stimulate the heart better. While some research opines that the supplement is most effective in fighting high cholesterol,insufficient evidence extends its benefits to its ability to treat hepatitis, scaly skin condition, cystic fibrosis, breathing problems and much more. Another benefit that finally addresses the question of what it acid can do is the bodybuilding ability. This benefit seriously expands the horizon of CLA users to indoctrinate almost everyone as a potential consumer provided you have the desire to improve your body structure.

Sources of conjugated linoleic acid


It is sourced mostly from the meat and dairy products. The food sources are found in ruminant animals, milk, and eggs. Ruminant animals rich in CLA include beef, goat, etc. Ground beef is one of the major foods high in conjugated linoleic acid.

What foods are high in conjugated linoleic acid?

Ruminants are the most abundant source of conjugated linoleic acid. Beef from cows fed with grass is one of the best sources according to a journal from the Journal of Dairy Science published in 1999.Information from the journal confirms that the cow diet affects the quantity or volume of conjugated linoleic acid that can be extracted; more grass intake would result to high CLA content. Omega-3 fatty acids present in the grass are responsible for this effect. As one of the foods high in CLA, a gram of fat from beef contains about 4 milligrams of CLA or more. A gram of fat in cow milk contains about 5 milligrams of CLA. This means that cow milk with low fat will invariably contain less quantity of conjugated linoleic acid. Another important food source is the chicken eggs. The hypothesis for grass consumption in cow also applies to chicken. Reports from Food Chemistry journal in 2004 confirmed a measurable content of CLA in egg yolk which is present even after frying. Below is a list of top CLA foods.

FoodSize (Oz)CLA per gram of fat (mgs)
Grass-fed beef430
Cheese, from grass fed cow milk120 to 30
Whole milk, from grass fed cows820 to 30
Whole milk85.5
Processed cheeses15
Plain yoghurt64.8
cottage cheese44.5
Low fat yoghurt64.4
Fresh ground beef from regular cows44.3
Cheddar cheese14.1
Fresh ground turkey42.6

Health benefits of conjugated linoleic acid

  • Fights cancer
  • Reduces symptoms of Asthma
  • Improves Blood Lipids
  • Antioxidant
  • Improves lipid Metabolism
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduces risk of high blood pressure
  • Loss of body Fat
  • Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Insulin resistance
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Immune booster
  • Reduces Food-induced allergic reactions

How does it work?

It’s very common to ask does it work. The answer should somehow depend on conjugated linoleic acid reviews but a description of how the supplement works in a human body should be enough to spell out its efficacy. For a body to gain weight, the energy input must be more than the energy output. That means when the reverse is the case, the body loses weight.This supplement aids a reduction of food intake and increasing the level of energy expenditure which in turn promotes a loss of weight. This is achieved by facilitating the process by which one’s cells release fat. The specific enzymes blocked to achieve this effect is not mentioned to be serotonin like other weight loss supplements but CLA effects work on palatability to deter the user’s food demand. This explains its mechanism for weight loss. As mentioned earlier, Conjugated linoleic acid contains the compounds that prevent hardening of arteries which reduces heart disease risk, a risk of cancer, widen blood vessels and lowers cholesterol level while also stimulating the heart. The increase in metabolism experience while using the pills promotes muscle growth.

Having known conjugated Linoleic acid as an isomer of linoleic acid, one may like to ask is it safe? Why don’t we just continue with the usual linoleic acid instead of going conjugated? Well, research comparing conjugated linoleic acid vs linoleic acid reveals that conjugated has far more biological benefits. In a nutshell, the bonding structure of conjugated linoleic acid is far more beneficial and the bonding that promotes weight loss, body building, cancer resistance among others.They are simply the fermented versions of linoleic acid (omega 6 fatty acids) which is facilitated by bacteria. Reviews of conjugated linoleic acid vs linoleic acid would always encourage you to use the conjugated chain structure for biological benefits.

Side effects

Side effects of the supplement are usually mild since it’s fully a naturally occurring substance. It is safe when taken by mouth in amounts found in foods and is not toxic when taken orally in medicinal amounts (quantity higher than those found in food). Side effects include stomach upset; diarrhea; nausea; and fatigue.


Everyone uses this compound in one way or the other provided they consume its food contents. But this is not usually enough in most cases to trigger all its benefits or to achieve the desired effect of CLA. That being the case, the pills are taken to supplement this quantity. Conjugated linoleic acid pills come in 1000mg for each and a dosage of between 3,100 to 6300mg is required daily with meals to achieve a full efficacy. This range of milligram intake means a consumption of approximately three or six pills daily. Two tablets in the morning, afternoon and night for six pills daily or one pill to be taken thrice for three pills daily. The supplementation is to be recommended by health care personnel, which is determined by body size and a few other factors. Researches have failed to demonstrate additional benefits for the use of higher conjugated linoleic acid dosage.

Where can I buy conjugated linoleic acid?

It’s very much easy to buy from online drug stores. But with many brands in the market, enjoying the full health benefits depends on your ability to buy quality content of the product. Hence, seeking for the best quality should be the quest here. This is determined by where to buy from. The most promising store to get the best quality brands with the appropriate content has been suggested by many to be General nutritional centers (GNC). Being that general nutritional centers arestrong promoters of natural supplements, top natural supplement manufacturers go into deals with such stores to achieve maximum sales and promotion. It is worth noting that all quality products of CLA at GNC would not be produced by one company. But a closer look and reviews from users would guide you on the specific brand to order. While you are considering where to buy, please ensure that your list is filled with stores with FDA license.

Conjugated linoleic acid reviews

CLA is amazing, and I’m so surprised how effective it is. It seems to help me to get rid of excessive fat. I’m not overweight, but the medication that I’m taking for my medical condition has slowed down my metabolism and this seems to tone my overall body shape. It didn’t work instantly, but gradually you can see the result. It obviously reduces the fat on the most significant part of the body.

– Emilie

I’m not one to take diet supplements. However, I read such good reviews about CLA and I decided to give it a try. I was surprised when my middle age stomach pooch “muffin top” got flatter. I was taking one pill in the morning and one in mid afternoon. When I stopped taking CLA, the pooch started coming back.

– Quirky Missy

I have issues with bloating and my stomach would look large and bloated all the time. I starting to take CLA supplements, and eat smaller meals. I have noticed 8-10 pound loss, and my stomach is not bloated at all. The part that has helped me the most is I have noticed these pills have something in it to suppress my appetite. I would definitely recommend this product.

– Minibeam

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February 17, 2021
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