There has been a lot of interest in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), due to studies showing it can reduce body fat and assist in long-term body weight management, but not all studies are consistent. Some of the studies not showing a favorable effect of CLA may have been too short in duration and may not have used sensitive enough detection methods to assess body fat. This study was a randomized, placebo controlled, double blind investigation in overweight adults. Subjects consumed CLA (3.2 g/day) or placebo for 6 months. Body composition was determined using the most accurate and sensitive technique available that utilized a four compartment model. After 6 months, CLA subjects had lost significantly more body weight and body fat than placebo. The most pronounced effect of CLA was during the Holidays when the placebo group tended to gain weight. The study provides additional evidence for CLA as an effective supplement to assist in body weight control, and it particularly targets loss of fat mass.

Watras AC, Buchholz AC, Close RN, Schoeller DA. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat and prevents seasonal weight gain among overweight adults. Experimental Biology, San Francisco, CA, April, 2006. #386.9.